Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS) the NEW local assistance scheme to replace Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for living expenses.

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Information correct as at 27 March 2013, and may be subject to revision.

• The new scheme will be called the Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS)

• The Local Authority has very limited funds and the ELAS will be available to members of the community requiring support to meet the most severe hardship and emergencies, particularly vulnerable groups

• The scheme will NOT replicate the DWP Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants schemes

• Applicant will NOT be eligible for emergency assistance from the local authority if:

 They have applied for new benefits but are still waiting for a decision. If so, they can apply for a Short Term Benefit Advance from the Department of Works & Pensions. Contact the DWP helpline on : 0845 608 8529

 They are waiting for an increase to their existing benefits. If so, they can apply for a Short Term Benefit Advance from the Department of Works & Pensions. Contact the DWP helpline on 0845 608 8529.

 They have difficulty in paying their rent or council tax. If so they can apply for a Discretionary Housing payment - phone Sefton Contact Centre on 0845 140 0845 for advice.

 They recently had sanctions applied to their benefits resulting in their benefits being stopped or reduced. If so, they can apply for a Hardship Payment from their local Job Centre.

• In order to be eligible for support people must be:

o Aged 16 or over AND

o Must live in Sefton (people fleeing domestic violence or ex offenders who have licence agreements not to reside in certain areas will also be eligible).

• They must satisfy one of the following conditions:

o In receipt of one of the following benefits (or likely to get one within the next six weeks if leaving care)

 Income support

 Income related Employment and Support Allowance

 Income based Jobseekers Allowance

 Pension guarantee credit

or

o Experiencing exceptional financial pressures because of a major upheaval or disaster

• People must be in need of one of the following:

o Essential food

o Essential goods associated with infants/children

o Heating/lighting/power

o Emergency travel costs

o Essential household white goods (i.e. fridge, washing machine, cooker/microwave oven) to support vulnerable people to return to or to remain in the community or to ease exceptional pressure on families.

• Application will be digital by default. There is an online application process via the Sefton Council website and this is the way that the majority of applications should be submitted. In exceptional circumstances, if someone has no access to the internet or is unable to complete an application form online, then a telephone application may be made by phoning 0151 934 3377. Alternatively, contact your nearest One Stop Shop.

• We will aim to process urgent applications e.g. for food, within 24 hours of an electronic form being submitted, based on the working week Monday to Friday. For less urgent applications e.g. for white goods, a decision will normally be made within 5 working days.

• Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email (where possible) or by telephone or letter.

• If an award is made, applicants will be notified where they will be able to collect their award and this will be through the One Stop Shops in Bootle and Southport. Applicants awarded essential white goods will be notified of the delivery process.

• Applicants will be required to sign for and provide proof of identity when receiving an award.

• There is NO appeals process.

• The scheme will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is sustainable.

Full details and the on-line application for the ELAS can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/ELAS (This link will be live from Tuesday 2nd April 2013)


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