Memorandum submitted by the Welfare Rights
Unit, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (SF 16)
The Welfare Rights Unit of Neath Port Talbot
County Borough Council have made the following observations with
regards to the Social Fund.
1. Claimants are not given forms in the
first instance by local offices on the basis that it is considered
that they don't fulfil the criteria.
2. Grants and loans are now claimed on separate
forms. This means that many claimants may only apply for a loan
without then being considered for a grant even though they fit
3. Severely disabled claimants are refused
grants on the basis that they are in receipt of Disability Living
Allowance. The Social Fund Officer often considers this to be
adequate alternative resources to cover the expense of the item/s
applied for. This means that the most severely disabled of claimants
are not likely to be considered for grants.
4. There appears to be more refusals of
grants over recent months where the applicant has a very strong
case for being awarded a grant, e.g. A severely disabled lone
parent applied for a bed for her disabled young child who was
also incontinent. This was turned down.
5. Offices where review interviews are held
are often inaccessible because they cover such a wide area, e.g.
a 20 miles round trip is common in this area.
I hope this is useful and I attach comments
from a local housing support organisation for the homeless young
Welfare Rights Officer
Letter sent to Audrey Hunt, Welfare Rights
Unit, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council from Dewis Limited
Over the past few months as an organisation,
we have noticed that claims submitted to the Social Fund have
not been awarded.
Dewis only works with young people who are homeless,
threatened with homelessness, leaving care or custody.
The supported accommodation we manage is allocated
on the basis that the young person needs support to manage and
maintain a tenancy. The young person must agree to take the support
before the tenancy is offered and they each have individually
prepared support plans which are regularly reviewed.
When the young person is assessed as being ready
to manage general needs accommodation, then we work with them
to access this. All accommodation provided by Dewis is fully furnished
and any move on accommodation is usually unfurnished. In the case
of it being unfurnished, then a grant from the Social Fund would
be applied for.
I am enclosing copies of the supporting evidence
Dewis provides, the letter received stating why the Community
Care Grant had not been awarded and the letter requesting a review
of the decision.
Following the review, a grant was awarded but
the timescale involved meant that the four week Housing Benefit
on two properties had expired.
I hope this makes sense to you, if you need
me to clarify any point then please contact me.
3 January 2001
P.S. Why do the Social Fund insist that all
reviews take place in Morriston? It is difficult for young people
to get to this office.
28 Not submitted. Back