Finding advice: Guide to welfare schemes from North Somerset Council

Do you work with people who are experiencing financial difficulties? There may be support from North Somerset Council’s two local welfare schemes for North Somerset residents.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

A Discretionary Housing Payment is a fund available to residents who are in receipt of Housing Benefit and find they have a shortfall between their housing benefit payment and their rental liability. This grant is a means-tested allowance taking into account an applicant’s circumstances. Local authorities had their funding increased to take account of the changes and the council is keen to make sure that people have the opportunity to make a claim for where they might be able to benefit from a top up. For more information download North Somerset Council’s discretionary housing payments policy  and to make a claim download and complete a discretionary housing payment application. If residents require help or advice then please contact North Somerset Council’s Housing Benefit customer services centre on 01934 888144.

Welfare Provision Scheme

In April 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions transferred its responsibility for Crisis Loans to local authorities and North Somerset Council  has developed a scheme called the Welfare Provision Scheme. The new scheme is there to help with financial help and will vary depending on the circumstances of each resident. The scheme is designed to assist vulnerable people:

  • In meeting their needs for subsistence or financial support where they are unable to meet their immediate short term needs in the case of a crisis, or
  • Where the customer requires assistance to maintain their independence within the community.

To make a claim, contact the WPS team: 01934 8880035 or 0800 138 5665, Monday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm (Freephone number; may incur additional cost for a mobile phone).

More information can be found in  North Somerset Council’s publication.

You can visit a support organisation to help you apply for these two schemes.  Search our Advice Directory under Benefits.