Local Welfare Assistance

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.

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. 

Please note that those leaving care will need to be able to provide evidence of the need for any items requested, and this will not be available until the applicant has found somewhere to live.

Cash will not be awarded. Instead the scheme will provide assistance, either through an in-kind provision of goods, referral to a support service or signposting to suitable support or funding.

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 from the DWP will not be eligible for support from the LWA scheme.

What the scheme does not cover

Wirral’s local welfare assistance scheme does not include the following:

  • Cash
  • Funeral costs – for support with these please visit the Gov.uk website.
  • Maternity costs – for support with these please visit the Gov.uk website.
  • 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 maintaining the property. 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.
  • Support if you are eligible for a payment from the DWP under the following schemes:

- Short term advances

- Budgeting loans or advances

- Discretionary hardship awards if you are subject to a benefit sanction.

Please contact the DWP to claim these benefits.

How to apply for Local Welfare Assistance

You can make an online application for Local Welfare Assistance.

Support workers are invited to make applications on behalf of someone else, and friends and family can also help someone with an application.

Applications will only be considered from Monday to Friday – 9am to 4.30pm.

How to appeal against a Local Welfare Assistance decision

To appeal against a decision you must have:

  1. Completed & submitted an application
  2. Received an outcome from your application stating it has been unsuccessful
  3. Received a decision that your assessment has been unsuccessful or partially awarded

Once you have completed the three steps, you can appeal against a decision online using 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 is available in the Debt & Money section of this website.