The Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) Scheme provides a safety net to Wirral residents in the case of a disaster or emergency. It is there to meet one-off needs and not ongoing expenses, and therefore only one award will be made in any two year period.
People who are claiming Universal Credit and are waiting for a payment can ask for an advance of their Universal Credit award. Their identity must have been checked before they can receive this payment. People can ask for an advanced payment at the jobcentre or can call freephone 0800 328 5644.
Who can get Local Welfare Assistance?
Awards will only be made where there is no alternative means of meeting the need. This includes help and support from friends and family.
Applicants who are eligible for a hardship award, short term advance or budgeting loan or advance will not be eligible.
An award may be made for the following:
- to meet a need which, if not met, would put at risk the health or wellbeing of you or any of your dependants
- to enable those leaving a care home, prison, hospital or similar e.g. a women’s refuge, to become established in the community
Awards of Local Welfare Assistance cannot be used for online transactions and any purchases made may be subject to check.
If you are leaving care you will need to provide evidence of the need for any items requested. Assistance will not be available until the applicant has found somewhere to live.
Support workers can make applications on behalf of someone else. Friends and family can also help someone with an application.
Applications will only be considered from Monday to Friday – 9am to 4.30pm. Find out of hours contacts for some council services.
What the scheme does not cover:
- funeral costs – for support please visit Gov.uk
- maternity costs – for support please visit Gov.uk
- rent costs – you may be able to get help through the council's bond scheme or discretionary housing payments
- essential repairs to your home; if you rent your home your landlord is responsible for repairs. If you own your home you may be able to apply for a home repair assistance loan
- essential furniture if you rent a furnished accommodation; your landlord is responsible for providing this.
- School uniform - for help, visit Wirral FUSS
- New baby items - find out if you are eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant
Appeal against a Local Welfare Assistance decision
If you do not agree with a decision about an application for Local Welfare Assistance you can complete the Local Welfare Assistance appeal form.
Additional support with money and debt
If you are having difficulties managing money or are struggling with debt, help and advice is available.