Who is eligible for emergency welfare support?

Local welfare provision

Local welfare provision is help for people who have an unexpected crisis, or support for vulnerable people to settle or remain in the community.

You can apply if you are:

  • Over 16, have lived in Herefordshire for at least 6 months, or have a strong connection to Herefordshire if you are homeless, or if you have moved to Herefordshire after leaving custody or a care home
  • Not subject to immigration control, and have no savings or other means of accessing support
  • In receipt of, or likely to be entitled to benefits because you have a low income. This would usually mean that you are getting:
    • Universal Credit
    • Income based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
    • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit only)
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income Support

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

We are not usually able to help if:

  • You have received assistance from the scheme in the last 6 months or have been turned down for assistance from the scheme for the same need in the last 6 months
  • The need could be met through eligibility to any of the following schemes:
    • DWP Short Term Benefit Advance (while awaiting first or increased DWP payment)
    • DWP statutory social fund payments (for example, Winter Fuel Allowance, Sure Start Maternity grants, or Funeral Payments)
    • Our statutory duty to provide medical or disability equipment
    • Grants can be accessed from another source

We are not able to help with housing costs such as rent payments, rent in advance, removal costs or assist with flooring for your property.

Local welfare provision (household support fund)

Local welfare provision (household support fund) is help for Herefordshire residents struggling to pay for food or energy due to the cost of living crisis who need our help the most.

You can apply if you are:

  • A Herefordshire resident over 16 years old, or a member of the armed forces who can demonstrate a strong connection to Herefordshire and,
  • A person or household is experiencing financial hardship and can demonstrate the need for emergency support with essential living costs that cannot be met by other sources.

The following applicants will not be eligible:

  • A person subject to immigration control by virtue of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • A person in a care home or prison
  • Someone in hospital, unless they are about to be discharged
  • A person or household who have received two awards from the local welfare provision (household support fund) within the last 6 months (exceptions may be considered in exceptional circumstances)
  • A person from abroad who has failed or would fail the habitual residence test for entitlement to welfare benefits.

We are unable to support with the following:

  • Applications that don't evidence an immediate need, or show the need can be met from sufficient income or savings
  • Applications where proof of finances, including income, earnings, and bank statements are not provided to support your request
  • Financial support towards mortgages or personal debts
  • Phone costs or associated expenses
  • Help with Council Tax payments as this is met through other types of support

Both schemes are discretionary and there are no rights of appeal, but you can ask us to look at our decision if you are not happy with the outcome of your application. You must do this within five days of our decision. Requests for a review of our decision need to be made in writing. It must state the reasons why you are asking for a review of the decision and be signed and dated.

You will be notified of the review decision within 14 days of your request. This decision will be final.

Where to get extra help

If you're struggling to make ends meet, visit Talk Community's Money on your mind website.

Those web pages provide lots of advice and guidance, including links to organisations that may be able to help you.

If you can't find what you're looking for there, email householdsupportfund@herefordshire.gov.uk

Citizens Advice Herefordshire also offer lots of support and advice. You can call them on 0344 826 9685 between 10am to 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.