How will this affect me?
Before April 2013, anyone aged over 16 who found themselves facing a financial crisis caused by an emergency or disaster could apply for a ‘Crisis Loan’ from the Department for Work and Pensions.
If you needed help to establish yourself or remain in the community, help with certain travel expenses or help due to there being exceptional pressures on you and your family, you could apply for a ‘Community Care Grant’ if you received a qualifying benefit.
Both Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans are being abolished.
What will replace Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants?
Replacements for Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants will vary across Isos communities as each Local Authority has designed its own scheme.
In general, ‘cashless grants’ will be offered instead of Crisis Loans for people in emergency situations. This is likely to mean vouchers for food, fuel, clothing and travel.
Community Care Grant replacements will be given the form of goods. Household items like beds, fridges and washing machines will be provided instead of vouchers or money.
What about other parts of the Social Fund?
From 1st April 2013, if you are in financial difficulty because your benefit payments are delayed or there is a technical problem, you can apply to the Department for Work and Pensions for a ‘Short Term Advance’.
You will no longer receive an ‘interim payment’ and you will not be able to apply for a crisis loan in these circumstances.
Short term advances will be reclaimed from your future benefit payments and will usually need to be repaid within three months.
‘Budgeting Loans’ will continue to be assessed and awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
If you are an Isos Housing resident and need more advice on any of the issues on our pages, please contact the Financial and Social Inclusion Team at Isos on 0300 300 1505, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.