Care and urgent needs support scheme

About the care and urgent needs scheme

The County Benefits Service is responsible for delivering the Care and Urgent Needs Support Scheme. This is support for the people of Lancashire which has replaced the community care grant and crisis loan schemes operated by the DWP. 

The scheme is made up of two types of assistance:

Urgent Needs Award

If you need urgent help with the costs of essential items such as food, fuel or clothing and do not have enough money to get these we may be able to provide some temporary help.

Care Needs Awards

If you need help to set up home after being in care, or if you have had to move due to a disaster (such as a flood or fire), or due to violence or fear of violence and you need furniture or domestic appliances we may be able to assist.

We may also be able to help in other situations where you are facing a crisis and can't meet your basic living costs.

Eligibility for help from the scheme

You can apply if you are over 16 and live in Lancashire.

You need to be on a low income, this would usually mean that you are getting:

  • Income Support,
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA),
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit only).

You also need to be either leaving care or requiring support to stay in the community.

Or you are able to demonstrate that you do not have the immediate resources to meet the basic needs of yourself and/ or your dependents.

If you have recently made a claim for benefits and are experiencing a period of financial need before your first payment, you need to speak to your local Jobcentre Plus office to see if you qualify for a short term advance.

If you are claiming Housing Benefit and having problems paying your rent, you may be able to get some additional help by applying for Discretionary Housing Payments.  These are additional short term payments that you can apply for from the office that pays your Housing Benefit. Ask your local council for details of how to apply.

How to claim

If you want to apply you should ring our helpline 0300 123 6735. If you find it difficult to use the phone, a family member or friend can ring on your behalf.

If English is not your first language and you require the assistance of a translator, we can provide this service.

You should have to hand any papers or information that will help us understand your claim better. You will need your contact details and:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Details of what benefits you and your partner (if applicable) are receiving
  • If not in receipt of benefit, what income you and your partner (if applicable) have, and the sources of this income
  • Details of any savings you and your partner (if applicable) have

Any relevant information about your circumstances to explain the exceptional pressures and difficulties you are experiencing or why you need help to stay or settle in the community.

Help we provide

We do not give loans so the help that you would be given will be in the form of a grant which you will not pay back.  This may be cash although we would usually try to help in different ways such as getting you some assistance through a food bank or furniture re-use organisation.

If we identify that you are not claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled we will provide information and support to help you claim what you can. This may be instead of claiming support under this scheme.

If you would like to apply please contact us on 0300 123 6735.

When we are unable to help

We are not able to provide help if you need support because of any reductions in benefit due to changes to Council Tax Support or reductions in Housing Benefit as a result of changes from April 2013. If you need extra help with your housing costs or Council tax you need to contact your local district council.

If you submit repeat applications or are identified as in need of other forms of assistance, you will be referred to an appropriate local advice service for support such as budget or debt advice or counselling services.

What to do if you disagree with a decision

If you disagree with a decision you will be able to request a review and provide additional information or evidence to support your request.

Please contact us to request a review on 0300 123 6735.