Social Fund – 0843 487 1802
The Social Fund disburses welfare benefits for exceptional or intermittent needs. The benefits on offer include Budgeting Loan, Sure Start Maternity Grants, Funeral Payments, Cold Weather Allowance, and Winter Fuel Allowance.
A Budgeting Loan is an interest-free loan available to those on income support, and some other income related benefits, aimed at helping such people cope with unexpected one-off expenses. It may be availed for home improvements, travelling expenses, clothing and footwear, and for repaying certain debts.
Applications for Budgeting Loans are made at the local Jobcentre Plus office. It is necvessary to repay the loan, at a rate that takes up 12 percent, 10 percent, or 5 poercent of the weekly benefits.
Sure Start Maternity Grants
Sure Start Maternity Grants are available for people on universal credit, income support, and some other support, to help pay for expenses related to the birth of a baby. This is a lump-sum payment that need not be repaid.
Sure Start Maternity Grant claims are made at the local Jobcentre Plus office by submitting claim form SF100.
Those on universal credit, income support, and some other benefits are eligible for Funeral Payments, or an allowance to cover the costs for a funeral for which the person is eligible. The allowance may be used to pay for burial fees, cost of transporting the body, cost for getting the required medical references or other documentation, and for other related expenses.
The person receiving the allowance need not repay the amount, but the amount is recoverable from any estate left by the deceased person.
Funeral claim benefits may be made to Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Bereavement Services, by submitting Form SF200 to the nearest local council office. It is usually possible to make the claim by phone also.
Cold Weather Payments
People on income support pension credit, and some other benefits receive an extra allowance to cover heating costs, when there is a spell of very cold weather in their area. The amount is £25.00 for a seven day period, when there is very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
Those above 60 years of age get tax-free winter fuel payments allowance regardless of a cold weather spell in their area.
Cold Weather Payments are disbursed automatically with other benefits, without having to apply for it. Winter Fuel payments are also disbursed automatically, though some people may have to claim it separately.