A budget is something that many keep in their heads, mentally aware of where their money comes from and even more aware of where the money goes each day. The Social Fund Budget is no different except that it is laid out in law with allocations made each April, based upon what the Social Benefits departments need to comply with laws which are made from time to time by government.
As with all budgets, it is rarely enough to cover what is actually needed but has to be aligned with income that the government receives from income tax and other revenues. The DWP Social Fund Budget is no different. Most of the government income comes from the taxpayer. Taxpayers ultimately pay for all benefits and other services.
The Social Fund Budget is specifically to pay for five different social- based payments. They are not benefits as such, but additional payments available from and administered by the Department of Work and Pensions. The five basic sections of the Social Fund DWP Budget are:-
This guide to the DWP Social Fund Budget gives basic information and advice as to how the different grants and loans can be claimed and obtained. The information is applicable to all ages – either of working age or over the State Pension Age. All of the information is direct from the Government sources about the relevant sections and working of the Social Fund.
The five sections which receive funding from the Social Fund are:-
Budgeting Loans are available from the DWP – Jobcentre plus – to give assistance and spread to load cost of one-off costs and expenses, so that they can be financed and repaid over a longer period. Any loan granted, will be free of interest and should normally paid back within 2 years – 104 weeks.
To get a budgeting loan – minimum load of 100.00 – you must have been getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), Pension Credit or payment on account of 1 of these benefits, for at least 26 weeks.
A member of staff at the Jobcentre Plus will decide if you are able to receive a budgeting loan. They will make their decision based upon directions and guidance of the government. It is not a personal thing, but the decision-maker will be bound by regulations and the amount of money in the Social Fund.
You can appeal if you think you have not been treated fairly.
Sure Start Maternity Grants are intended to help pay for things you need for your new baby.
You or your partner will have to be receiving Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award or Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element to be able to get a Sure Start Maternity Grant.
The Grant is not a loan, so does not have to be repaid. It is paid as a lump sum to help with baby expenses.
Funeral Payments are not grants or loans, but have to be paid back out of the estate of the deceased person – IF there is money in the deceased person’s estate to be able to reclaim. If not, there is no repayment to made by yourself. The payment is to ensure a respectful burial.
To be able to get a Funeral Payment, you must be getting either Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award, Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element, Housing Benefit.
It is only payable back if there is money in the estate.
Cold Weather Payments are NOT the same as Winter Fuel Allowance. CWP may be made to some people who are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) and to all people getting Pension Credit when there is a spell of cold weather in your area. The payments are only available for these cold spells. They are meant to help with your heating costs when there is very cold weather for a period of time.
No cold weather – no Cold Weather Payments.
Winter Fuel Payments are made to all those over the state pension age and are paid on the basis that older people need to spend more on heating costs in the winter. The sum is decided every year and all those over the state pension age are eligible to get it.
>>Referenced from UK Social Fund Technical Guidance <<
March 9th 2017
***Child Tax Credit - From April this year the ‘family element’ of £545 per year will be abolished.***
March 8th 2017
**MPs are calling for a halt to the accelerating roll-out of Universal Credit as the ongoing problems are causing undue and unnecessary hardship**
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