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Dudley Council's Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) scheme is changing.

With effect from October 2016 the existing scheme will be replaced by a new Local Welfare Assistance LOAN Scheme – this will be a scheme offering low cost repayable loans to qualifying customers.

This new loan scheme will be delivered in partnership by Citizens Advice, Dudley Council and the Castle & Crystal Credit Union.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • People who have lived in the Dudley borough for the past 6 months or 3 out of the past 5 years (some exceptions apply)

  • People aged 18 and over

  • People who are legally resident in the UK

  • People who do not have the personal resources (savings or income) to meet an urgent need which if not met could cause a health and safety risk

  • People who are in receipt of an out of work related benefit

Who will normally be excluded from applying?

  • Anyone who fails to meet the eligibility criteria (see above).

  • Anyone whose need is not urgent or a risk to health and safety.

  • Anyone who has an existing or unpaid Local Welfare Assistance Loan.

  • Anyone who cannot repay a loan.

How to apply for a Local Welfare Assistance award

Applications are made by telephone on 01384 813510.

Opening times are 10:00am - 3:00pm, Monday – Friday.

If you are calling from an 01384 number you will be charged at a local rate, charges may vary from other numbers, e.g. mobile phones.

“Free phones” are available in most Dudley Council public offices, including Dudley Council Plus, Castle Street, Dudley or Dudley Council Plus Local reception points at Brierley Hill, Halesowen & Stourbridge town centre libraries. Ask staff for assistance or pick up the handset and select 0.

What happens next?

You may be directed to other sources of help or other agencies for advice and assistance.

If applicable, your application will be assessed against the scheme criteria, taking into account your personal circumstances, the urgency of the need, how the crisis occurred and the level of risk to your (or your dependants) health and safety. You will be asked to provide evidence of residency, personal ID and may also be asked to provide evidence of your need and/or personal resources. You will also need to complete a Credit union membership form – all documents will need to be taken to Dudley Council Plus, Castle Street, Dudley or your nearest Dudley Council Plus Local reception point at either Brierley Hill, Halesowen & Stourbridge town centre libraries.

Your ability to repay a loan will be assessed.

Once the assessment is complete you will be given a decision, this may be a decision to refer you to the Castle & Crystal Credit Union for a low cost repayable loan. If a loan is not an option, you will be given advice and assistance on other forms of help available.

If a successful loan referral is made you will be invited to attend the Castle & Crystal Credit Union to open an account and complete a loan application.

If you require any further information regarding this scheme or are unsure if you would meet the criteria please contact the Local Welfare Assistance Loan Team on 01384 813510.