|Welcome to the Independent Review
for the Social Fund
Our site is aimed
at those who have an interest in the Social Fund and its review process. It has
a wide range of information that will help frontline decision makers,
representatives, advisers and customers.
Please click here if you have any comments about your Social Fund
|Changes to the Social Fund
You may be aware that the Welfare Reform Act 2012 has
introduced significant changes to community care grants and crisis loans from
April 2013. Click on Grants and
important news about your review to find out more
about the impact on the independent review at the IRS.
Some of the
directions and guidance that apply to the existing community care grant scheme
have recently changed. You will find a short summary if you click on
Changes to the existing
|Grants and crisis loans
news about your review.
We can carry out an independent review of your community care grant,
crisis loan or budgeting loan decision as long as you made your initial
application before 1st April 2013.
Grants and crisis loans are
no longer available from 1st April 2013 for new applications. If Jobcentre Plus
did not receive your application by the end of March 2013 you cannot be
considered for an award.
But you can still ask for a
review of your decision in Jobcentre Plus and then an independent review at the
IRS, as long as Jobcentre Plus had your application before the end of March
2013. We can look at your budgeting loan decision if you applied before that
date as well. We can do this even if you don't get a decision until April.
It is really important that you ask us for a review quickly, if you
disagree with the decision you have had from Jobcentre Plus. This is because
Inspectors here at the IRS will not be able to make any review decisions after
the end of July 2013. So we will only have a limited amount of time to deal
with your case. Don't forget that Jobcentre Plus must have reviewed your
decision first, before we can look at it.
Help that may be
available from 1st April 2013
Budgeting loans will still
be available from DWP after April if you have been in receipt of an income
based benefit for 26 weeks or more. The initial decision and first review will
still be done in Jobcentre Plus. But the second review will be carried out by
the Independent Case Examiner and not by the IRS. You can find out more
information about budgeting loans by contacting the DWP Social Fund Enquiry
Helpline on 0845 6036967 or by visiting www.dwp.gov.uk.
based provision will be delivered by local authorities in England and will be
devolved to the Scottish and Welsh Governments. Other help that may be
available to you will depend on where you live:
If you live in England you
may be able to get help from within your community. You may want to consider
approaching local organisations in your area or your local authority to see if
any help is available.
If you live in Scotland you
may be able to get help from the Scottish Welfare Fund via your local council
and you may wish to approach them for more information. More information about
the Scottish Welfare Fund and how to apply to your council is available at:
Scottish Welfare Fund
If you live in Wales you may be able to get help from the Welsh
Government via its Discretionary Assistance Fund. More information about the
Fund and how to apply is available at:
Discretionary Assistance Fund
Money Made Clear Wales
Or you can call the freephone
number - 0800 859 5924 - which is free from landlines or alternatively by
calling 033 0101 5000 which is charged at a local rate.
Further information about the Social Fund Reforms in
general can be found on the DWP website at: www.dwp.gov.uk/local-authority-staff/social-fund-reform/
|Changes to the existing community care grant
2013 the Secretary of State made the following changes to the grant
here to read a full
summary of the impact of these changes.
- a small but
important change to the rules on eligibility for a community care grant found
in Direction 25, which will affect applicants coming out of care;
- a new exclusion,
Direction 29A, which excludes grant awards in respect of a need that "arises
after or continues beyond 31st March 2013"; and
- new transitional
guidance on how Social Fund decision makers should take account of the grants
budget; the guidance applies from 1 April 2013 to initial and review decisions
on grant applications made before that date.