The Social Fund was a form of a welfare benefit that could be used for one-off or occasional payments, along with other routine payments such as Jobseekers Allowance. The discretionary social fund was abolished in 2012, with it taking effect from April 2013.
What Help Can the Social Fund Give Me?
If you find yourself needing to use the social fund contact number, there are many questions you might want answering. Some of these could be:
What is the Social Fund?
What can the Social Fund be used for?
Does the Social Fund have to be repaid?
What are the conditions for being eligible for the Social Fund?
What has happened to the Social Fund?
Social Fund Opening Hours
08:00am – 18:00pm
08:00am – 18:00pm
08:00am – 18:00pm
08:00am – 18:00pm
08:00am – 18:00pm
Commonly Asked Questions
When you speak to a member of staff on theSocial Fund Contact Number, you may be asking a similar question to someone else. We have collected a short list of these questions and have provided some potential answers as well:
You can claim for a Social Fund by filling out an SF500 form, which can be requested from the number above, or printed out online. If you ring the number above you will also recieve a freepost envelope in which to send your form. A social fund process can take up to 15 days, however, you can get updates to your mobile phone if you provide your phone number on the SF500 form.
Who is entitled to a Social Fund?
To qualify for a Social Fund, you must be on one of the following benefits for at least 26 weeks:
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
You must also still be on the same benefit when your claim is being processed. You can apply at any age.
Where do I send my Social Fund application?
Once you’ve filled out your Social Fund Application, you can send it off in the pre-paid envelope that you were sent with the form. Or you can hand it in at your nearest Job Centre. You can find your nearest Job Centre by searching online.
What is a Social Fund Crisis Loan?
Please note that this service will end on October 31st 2016. A Social Fund Crisis Loan is a loan that you have to pay back, but you don’t have to pay interest on. You can apply for the crisis loan aged 16 and over, and can be used for a number of reasons:
If you don’t have enough money to meet immediate needs
If you think that there is a serious risk to you or your family if you don’t recieve the loan
Daily living expenses that you can’t afford on your current benefit
Travel expensive if you are stranded away from home
There is no set amount that you can recieve on the crisis loan, as it all depends on your current income, age, and circumstances. The loan is immediately paid into your bank, and a government advisor will talk you through a repayment plan. A crisis loan will have no effect on any other benefits that you may receive.
What is available that offers a similar service to The Social Fund?
The Regulated Social Fund still exists, offering:
Funeral Expenses Payments
Sure Start Maternity Grant
Cold Weather Payment
Winter Fuel Payment
The Discretionary Social Fund no longer exists, meaning there are no Community Care Grants or Crisis Loans available. However, there are still Budgeting Loans on offer for those who have been on a qualifying benefit for a minimum of 26 weeks.
How much is the Social Fund Funeral Payment?
The Social Fund Funeral Payment scheme can be given to those on low income, and you can pay the money back with any money you recieve in the will of the deceased. You must be either a relative or spouse of the deceased. The payment you recieve can be up to the amount of £700. This amount is to help towards burial/cremation, as well as flowers, a coffin, or the cost of moving the body from abroad. You can only apply for this within 3 months of the funeral. To apply for the fund you must fill out an SF200 form, which can be requested by calling the number above or heading over to the government website.
Why was the discretionary Social Fund abolished?
The discretionary social fund was abolished in April 2013 following the Welfare Reform Act of 2012. The Act gave great power to local authorities to control the spending of the Social Fund.If you have any further questions, you should ring the Social Fund Contact Number.
Are there any Loans or Grants still available from The Social Fund?
Social Fund Loan
Budget Loans are still available for those who have been on a qualifying benefit for at least 26 weeks.If you have any other questions, you should use the Social Fund Contact Number to find out more information.
What does the social fund cover?
The social fund is financial support designed to help those on a low income with one off expenses. These include cold weather payments and budgeting loans if you qualify. Other things it will cover if you meet the conditions include winter fuel payments, sure start maternity grants and budgeting loans. At the beginning of April every year, the job centre are given the money that is then handed out for budgeting loans. As the loan has to last all year, applications have to be carefully considered to see who needs it most. You will have a maximum amount of loan that you can receive, and this differs depending on your financial circumstances. The job centre will be able to tell you what the maximum amount of budgeting loan you are entitled to is. If you are eligible to receive a budgeting loan, but already have one to pay, the loan you receive a second time around may be smaller, with your maximum allowance decreasing. You can appeal or ask for a review if you are unhappy or do not agree with a final decision that has been made regarding your entitlement to the budgeting loan.
What is the Scottish Welfare Fund?
The Scottish welfare fund is a national scheme put together by those in the Scottish authorities and are designed to see people through tough and unexpected expenses. The money they lend out is called a ‘crisis grant’ and it works on a discretionary basis meaning that even if you are eligible, you may still not receive one as the final decision. If your situation means that you have been selected to receive a crisis grant, this does not have to be re-paid. Crisis grants are a last resort for anyone who is 16 or over, working on a low income and another to receive appropriate financial help from anywhere else. To receive a crisis grant you do not need to be claiming any other kind of benefit but your situation may be helped if you are receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit as you will then be considered to be on a low income. If you have been sanctioned from the DWP, for not turning up to your meetings for example, you can still receive a crisis grant as the reasoning for your sanction should not be taken into consideration by authorities. You can also receive a crisis grant as a one off payment whilst you are waiting for your benefit payments should they be delayed in any way. You are not usually eligible for more than three crisis grants in a 12 month period, and cannot receive one if you have sent an application and been rejected, unless your situation has changed.
About The Social Fund
Social Fund and Budgeting Loan Applications
The Social Fund was fully introduced in 1988 and offered for one-off or occasional payments alongside another form of regular payments, for example, Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support. There were two categories to the Social Fund:
The Discretionary Social Fund
This was intended for exceptional and irregular needs and included community car grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans
The Regulated Social Fund
This covered maternity, funeral, winter fuel and heating expenses
Following the Welfare Reform Act of 2012, the Social Fund was abolished, with effect from April 2013.