Today (2 April), the Council is launching a new local Crisis Support Scheme as part of changes under the Welfare Reform Act.
The new scheme for Luton replaces the former Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for Living Expenses run by the DWP.
Crisis payments are now available as Crisis Awards - immediate help for qualifying residents with an emergency posing an immediate and substantial risk to their health and safety; or as Community Care Awards - help for qualifying vulnerable people in setting up or maintaining a home in the community.
To be eligible for either of the above awards you must: be a Luton resident for the past 12 months; aged 16 or over; if you say you are homeless you must be accepted by the Council as homeless and with a priority need, be legally resident in the UK and not subject to immigration control/would fail the Habitual Residency Test; be receiving one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
- Guaranteed Pension Credit.
Both the Crisis and the Community Care Awards are available as vouchers, tokens or prepayment cards and not as cash, bank credit or Giro cheque.
Sue Nelson, the Council's Head of Revenues, Benefits and Customer Services said: “The new Crisis Support Scheme for Luton is run by the Council and designed to help vulnerable local individuals and families with exceptional one-off difficulties, providing they are receiving or entitled to receive a means tested benefit or state pension.”
To request a Crisis or Community Care Award, you need to call our freephone number 0800 4561673 during week day working hours. Applications can also be made through the Luton Advice Network (LAN) and Luton Action Against Poverty (LAAP) members and associated members - follow this link for more details
(and useful sites and contacts in connection with Welfare Reform).