Event date: 26/04/2017
News date: 21 Apr
Whatever you want to do, concerns you have or support you need, there are a wealth of organisations and charities that can help. Have a look at what's available here.
Items such as raised toilet seats, bath boards and seats, walking frames, and grab rails can make a real difference to your safety and independence.
Budgeting loans and Local Support Payments are two types of payments you can receive in addition to your benefits. They're intended to cover the costs of unexpected expenses, for example if you have to move house, if your rent suddenly goes up, or if you need to repair or replace an essential item of household furniture or equipment like a bed or washing machine.
Budgeting loans are interest-free loans offered by the Department of Work & Pensions. They are available to people who have been claiming Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, income-related Employment & Support Allowance or Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks.
The minimum amount you can receive is £100, and the maximum you can receive is £1500. This is a loan so you do have to pay it back, but you won't have to pay any interest on the loan. The loan repayments and when you need to make them will be explained to you when you take out the loan.
How much you will be able to get will depend upon your circumstances, and how easily you will be able to repay the loan.
To claim, you should complete Form SF500 and take it to your local Jobcentre Plus.
Find out more about Budgeting Loans and how to request a loan.
Local Support Payments are offered by Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Wesminster councils. They are not cash payments, but will be made in the form of refurbished household equipment (for example washing machines, refrigerators, sofas, etc), or vouchers redeemable in high street shops against the items you have told the council you need to purchase. You cannot ask for a cash alternative.
You can apply for a Local Support Payment if you are a local resident and claiming Income Support, Job Seekers' Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Individual Payment, Universal Credit, or Pension Credit.
Apply for a Local Support Payment from Kensington & Chelsea.
Apply for a Local Support Payment from Hammersmith & Fulham.
Apply for a Local Support Payment from Westminster.
The Independent Age website provides a guide to Budgetting Loans and Local Support Payments.
If you are not able to get either a Budgeting Loan or a Local Support Payment, there may be alternative ways to get the things you need.
Organisations like Emmaus and London Reuse refurbish and sell used furniture and household goods at low prices.
Freecycle UK and Freegle are online bulletin boards where people can advertise unwanted items, including clothes, furniture, toys and household goods, to be collected for free. You can also post 'Wanted' messages requesting items.
Friends of the Elderly offers one-off grants to older people to cover the costs of replacing furniture and household goods, as well as the costs of household repairs and adaptations, utility bills, and mobility aids.
Disability Grants UK is a website listing charitable organisations offering grants to disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, to cover the costs of mobility aids, household goods, rent, bills and unexpected expenses.
If you would like to receive independent advice on money and benefits, accessing care and support, legal issues, housing, your rights as a carer, and a range of other issues, then you can contact the Westminster Advice Services Partnership (WASP).
Advice Westminster offer a free online and email advice service for Westminster residents, allowing users to access advice and information on all areas of social welfare law including welfare benefits and tax credits, employment and consumer rights, income maximisation, housing and homelessness, debt and financial capability, and more.They also offer a service offering support to people in making complaints about the way in which other services have been administered.
Staying First has a debt and welfare benefits service for people living in Fulham which provides free independent and confidential advice. They can help with benefits entitlement or problems, representation at tribunals, negotiating with creditors or baliffs and advice on money management.