The fund supports vulnerable adults to move into or remain in the community, and to help families under great pressure to stay together.
The county council manages the funding that was previously available from government for these forms of support and we have been given responsibility for deciding what form of local assistance we can provide and who will be eligible to receive it.
The amount of money provided to support vulnerable people in our area is less than was previously awarded by central government, so it's important this funding is focussed on those who need it most.
Support available from the fund
The local assistance fund does not replicate what was previously provided by the government. No cash payments, crisis loans or community care grants are available. Awards are made in-kind, for example, by supplying household goods and basic necessities.
The fund provides practical support for vulnerable people who are moving into or seeking to remain within the community; for example, you may have recently experienced a crisis and need a few basic essential items to help you cope. You may apply for up to two awards of emergency food and / or utility top-up in any 12 month period. For other items provided under the fund, a maximum entitlement of two items may also be awarded within the same 12 month period, only one of which may be a white good item. A full list of the items provided by the fund is available here (pdf / 133 KB).
Eligibility for support
Support will be targeted at the following groups:
- families who are under exceptional pressure;
- individuals recently released from prison;
- people with learning or physical disabilities;
- people with mental health problems;
- people who have a drug or alcohol dependency;
- those who are homeless; or
- those who have experienced domestic abuse.
To be eligible for support, you must also be able to demonstrate that you:
- are 16 years or over;
- live in North Yorkshire;
- receive a means-tested benefit or have a household income below the low income threshold (currently £16,105) and less than £1,000 in capital; or
- have a need that cannot be met from other forms of support.
Submitting an application
Applications are made through authorised agencies that will provide support to those who are eligible and are identified as vulnerable.
If you're waiting for an award of benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions and you have no money due to a delay in your initial payment being made, you can apply for a short-term benefit advance.
Contact the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 328 5644 and select the option for the benefit you are waiting for.
Other forms of support
Should your application be rejected or should you feel you need further support, there are numerous organisations who may be able to help and support you. Some of these organisations are listed in our other forms of support leaflet (pdf / 242 KB).
In early 2018, we commissioned an external organisation to undertake research to assist in our understanding of the impact that the North Yorkshire local assistance fund has on its voluntary, community, and frontline local authority service partners, as well as on applicants of the fund. You can read the report here (pdf / 554 KB).
In order to ensure that those most in need get the maximum support when they need it, the North Yorkshire local assistance fund works with a number of key voluntary, community and statutory services as 'authorised agents'.
An authorised agent is an organisation that can make direct referrals to the local assistance fund on behalf of applicants. The fund's authorised agents will be:
- in contact or working with the client, and have knowledge of their needs or circumstances;
- able to help identify those in most need who may be eligible for the fund; and
- able to provide confirmation verifying that they have had sight of the required forms of evidence of identification and of need.
If you wish to find out more about becoming an authorised agent please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.