Local Welfare Scheme

Applications are currently taking longer to process than the normal 10 working days. 
This is due to the large number of applications received.

The aim of our Local Welfare scheme is to support residents who:

  • are facing unexpected costs
  • need emergency help

The scheme:

  • provides a short term and one-off form of support
  • is offered in the event of an emergency or crisis when family, friends, charities, or insurance cannot help
  • helps to minimise the risk of harm to vulnerable residents and their household

Payments

This scheme can provide one-off payments in emergencies.

It helps to ease the financial pressure for residents in Bracknell, who have low income and are most in need.

The scheme offers a one-off payment directly to your bank or building society account.

The payments are:

  • single person - £120
  • couple - £200
  • family with dependent children under the age of 18 - £250

Who can apply

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be 16 years of age and
  • have the right to reside in the United Kingdom and
  • have lived in Bracknell Forest for the past 6 months continuously or 3 out of the last 5 years and
  • be in receipt of a qualifying state benefit or low income and
  • be able to demonstrate, through a financial assessment, that they are unable to meet the costs of the emergency and
  • be able to demonstrate that it has not been possible to secure support from other means and
  • be able to demonstrate other exceptional circumstances apply such as fleeing domestic abuse or leaving residential care

Qualifying benefits include:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support

Low income is defined as earnings less than £423.46 a week for a family or £283.71 a week for a single adult.

Who cannot apply

Applicants who:

  • have their living needs provided for them for example a person in hospital or a care home, a prisoner, a member of a religious order, a person in relevant education, except in cases where they are about to leave and return to the local community and can demonstrate a connection to Bracknell
  • have assessed capital or savings more than £500 (not including the value of their home) and who have access to those funds except where in cases, the cost of the emergency item exceeds this for example a replacement boiler 
  • are subject to immigration control or who have no recourse to public funds
  • have earnings more than the Benefit Cap figure of £423.46 per week for a family or £283.71 per week for a single adult
  • have received an award from the Bracknell Local Welfare Scheme in the past 12-month period unless there are exceptional circumstances and except in the case of a referral to the foodbank where 3 applications may be considered in a 12-month period

How to apply

Apply using our online form.

Apply for our Local Welfare Scheme

We aim to process applications in 10 working days of receipt of all relevant information.

Circumstances in which award will not be considered

In certain circumstances, support with immediate needs may be better met from another source and in such cases, we will signpost applicants to the source of assistance best suited to their needs.  Such circumstances may be where the:

  • need relates to a household item or repair that would be the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the property, the applicant will be supported to approach the responsible party for assistance
  • applicant has refused to seek support from the responsible party to meet the need or has otherwise failed to seek to resolve the situation directly
  • need relates to a rent deposit or rent in advance, in such cases, the applicant will be directed to the Housing Options team for support

Reviewing unsuccessful applications

This is a discretionary scheme and not every application will be successful.  The scheme may close if funding exhausts before the end of September 2024.

There is no statutory right of review in this scheme. Applicants unsatisfied with the outcome of an application, may request a review. 

Reviews requested must:

  • be sent to Welfare and Housing Service in writing, and within 5 days of the notification of the award
  • state the reasons that the applicant disagrees with the decision
  • provide any further supporting evidence that may be relevant

Requests for review must be emailed to lwp@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Requests for review will be considered and we will notify applicants of the outcome of a review within 14 days of receipt of the request. 

This decision will be final, and no further reviews will be accepted.

Financial inclusion and further support

Bracknell’s Local Welfare Scheme is only one form of support. Where applicable, we will be referred to third parties such as Citizens Advice for additional support.

If you would like to find out about benefits or other forms of support that may be available, the following websites offer a great deal of advice and other forms of support:

Local Welfare Scheme policy

Request a reasonable adjustment

If you have a disability or long term condition and need a reasonable adjustment to communicate with us, contact us by:

Contact information

Welfare and Housing Service

Make an enquiry