The value of putting local welfare cash provision first

By Gareth Evans | 02 August 2021

The pandemic has plunged millions into poverty and exposed the importance of local welfare provision for households facing severe hardship. The escalating crisis, together with the need to disburse over £270m of Government COVID hardship funding, has seen councils redesigning, or in many cases, totally reinstating their Local Welfare Assistance (LWA)schemes in order to give emergency support for food, fuel and other essential household goods and items.

Our recent publication for the Local Government Association highlighted best practice across local government. It showed that schemes need to be flexible with eligibility and assessment reflecting a balanced approach to risk – keeping applications simple, minimising undue barriers and making sure decisions are quick (while still ensuring proportionate checks and verification).

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