Gloucestershire Welfare Support Scheme
The Gloucestershire Welfare Support Scheme provides one-off practical support to eligible adults and families covering items such as furniture, household goods, white goods and electricity/gas top-ups.
There is an emphasis on the use of
- Non-cash awards / vouchers
- Recycled items
You need to meet the criteria and provide proof of your eligibility to receive the support.
We are also able to offer rugs and mats where appropriate, which can be taken when moving house and may be less expensive, so you can obtain more essential household items.
Before you apply to the scheme
You might be entitled to other types of support. You can check this by answering the questions below.
Have you made a claim for benefits and not been paid yet?
If yes, please contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0345 608 8545. They will consider you for a Short Term Benefit Advance. The Welfare Support Scheme does not cover this.
Have your benefits been stopped because of a sanction?
If yes, you may be eligible for a hardship payment. Please contact your local Jobcentre Plus or telephone 0345 608 8545 to discuss further. The Welfare Support Scheme does not cover this.
Have you been getting one of the following benefits for 26 weeks or more?
- Income support;
- Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance;
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit.
How to apply
Once you have checked other ways of getting support (including the above), if you still need to apply to the Gloucestershire Welfare Support Scheme please check whether you are eligible using the application form. You can only apply to the Welfare Support Scheme once a year and you need to provide proof of your eligibility.
For help, call 0330 123 5550 (during office hours).
The application form example explains what information and evidence you will need to send with your application. If an agency is supporting you e.g. P3, Citizens Advice Bureau, Cheltenham Community Projects, a housing provider etc., ask them to help you to identify and gather your evidence for proof of eligibility.
Show the information and evidence you will need to send:
For your application to be considered you must:
- Include copies of the relevant documents
- Enclose a letter from an agency/support worker to confirm they have copies of the relevant documents and to confirm your eligibility
- Proof that you live in Gloucestershire
- Utility bill
- Council tax bill
- DWP letter
- Proof that you are 16 years old or over
- Birth certificate
- Drivers licence
- DWP letter
- Proof of your benefits
- Proof of priority group
- A letter from your doctor
- MATB1 form
In July 2018, Cabinet approved the continuation of the Welfare Support Scheme for 2019-22. The management of the Welfare Support Scheme will continue to be provided by Auriga Services Ltd.
Support agencies have told us they are pleased with the scheme to date as it is straight forward to access and provides appropriate support to the right people quickly.
Some minor changes have been made to the scheme to commence in April 2019.
Rent deposit requests: Requests can be made by supporting agencies on behalf of people assisted to move into independent accommodation either: as part of a planned move on from Council commissioned Accommodation Based Support services or assisted to move into independent accommodation as part of a planned move via the Atlas Personalisation Service.
A new online portal is in development to accept electronic applications. Through applying online, applicants will get a much quicker response rate. The portal will work both on a mobile and a tablet. This ensures customers without access to a computer will be able to apply and benefit from the service. The portal will contain guidance including:
- Eligibility criteria
- User guides
- A real-time update on the progress of each application
This contract does not fund Auriga Services to deliver the same level of administrative service as under the previous contract. In particular, they will not be able to do as much chasing of partial applications. The onus will be on agencies to support applicants to submit their application and all evidence to obtain an award.