Universal Credit Claimants: Budgeting Loans are not available to those on Universal Credit. It’s been replaced with the ‘Budgeting advance’ which is also a loan. Repayments are automatically deducted from future UC payments.
For others, Budgeting loans are still available. Not a good alternative to Community Care Grants – because you have to pay the money back. But they are far easier to get. A form is submitted similar to the CCG form, again itemised list of items is required.
You can have at most £1500 of budgeting loans at any one time, although you could apply for Scottish Welfare Fund ‘Crisis Grants’ in addition to that. You cannot ask for a loan of less than £100.
Receiving income based JSA or ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit.
On benefit for at least 26 weeks (breaks of less than 28 weeks are ignored)
No savings/capital in excess of £1000 (you’ll get less if over this amount).
If you have debt from other Budgeting loans the amount you still owe will be deducted from the maximum £1500 limit.
Although there are exceptions, those subject to ‘immigrant control’ cannot get this loan.
You can only get a Budgeting loan for the following categories:
furniture & household equipment
clothing & footwear
rent in advance and/or removal expenses
improvement, maintenance and security of the home
expenses associated with seeking or re-entering work
debts for any of the above items
They’re interest free (at present). Repayment is deducted from benefit at an agreed rate – best to negotiate that with the DWP to be at a low rate, their initial offer will be at a higher rate and people often don't challenge that. You can request repayment terms changed later, but you have to argue financial hardship at that point.
Appealing a Decision
You can ask for an internal review within 28 days, done by a different decision maker. If this fails, you can ask for a second-tier review by the Independent Case Examiner. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/independent-case-examiner
Sure Start Maternity Grants
£500 for each child
Free money – is not a loan, is not repaid
A lot of people qualify for this but fail to claim it.
You only have 3 months to submit a claim after the birth.
Claimant’s must be receiving one of the following:
income based job seekers allowance
severe hardship payments
working tax credit (so low waged claimants) with any disability element
child tax credit (paid more than just the family element)
Or must expect to receive them after the baby is born (e.g. an initially childless couple who will qualify for child tax credit when their baby is born).
Funeral costs will be paid for by the DWP if you are on benefits or low waged. They don't pay much though (around £600) so some funeral directors won't deal with these cases. Again is time barred – you only have three months to claim. And again, claimants are missing out even though entitled to this.
But if any other close relatives have an income, the DWP will hold that they should pay for the funeral instead. Unless the other relative was estranged, or can convincingly pretend to be estranged.
EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY is based at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE), an open campaign space & infoshop providing resources and solidarity. Resources available include free computer/internet access, cheap copying, free leaflets, books, pamphlets and mags for sale, and a library. Every Tuesday from 12 to 3pm support and solidarity is available for benefits, debt hassles, housing and other problems. Please contact us at Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty c/o ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA, 0131 557 6242 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to join our solidarity phone tree and get involved. ACE is also open at other times for particular events (but the support and solidarity sessions are only on Tuesday).