This is intended to help vulnerable people live independent lives to remain and/or become integrated within their community.
An award may be considered to help people:
- Leaving care – to re-establish themselves in the community
- To stay in the community – rather than enter care
- To ease exceptional pressures
- Leaving custody to readjust to life outside of prison and integrate back into the community
- To set up home as part of a resettlement programme following an unsettled way of life.
In order to qualify for an award, applicants must be in receipt of, or have an entitlement to,:
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
- Pension Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- A disability related benefit (Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment)
- Universal Credit (an earnings limit may apply)
It is possible that an applicant may be directed to other sources of help and other agencies for advice.
If applicable, an application will be assessed against the scheme criteria, taking into account personal circumstances, the urgency of the need, how the crisis occurred and the level of risk to the applicant’s (and/or dependants’) health and safety. Ability to repay a loan will also be assessed.
The applicant will be asked to provide evidence of residency, personal ID and may also be asked to provide evidence of need and/or personal resources. In the current circumstances, all evidence should be emailed to Dudley Council Plus or posted.
If the applicant is not able to get out themselves, they can give details of a trusted nominated person i.e. name, address phone number, bank sort code and bank account number, who can deal with the application on their behalf.
Once the assessment is complete, a decision will be issued. This may be a decision to refer to the Castle & Crystal Credit Union for a low cost repayable loan. If a loan is not an option, advice will be given on other forms of help available.
If a successful loan referral is made the applicant, or their trusted nominated person, will be sent a text or Email inviting them to attend the Castle & Crystal Credit Union to open sign an agreement to open an account, complete a standing order form to be sent to their/trusted nominated person’s bank for repayment, & within 2 hours the payment should be in their/trusted nominated person’s bank.
The aim is to complete this process within 48 hours but at busy times this can take up to 7 days.
There is no official right for a review or appeal against a decision to refuse a loan.
For those waiting for their benefit claims to be processed there will be payment on account. This will still be administered by DWP.