|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
crisis loans…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…important
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 make your initial
application before 1st April 2013.
Grants and crisis loans
will not be available from 1st April 2013 for new applications. But you can
still ask for a review of your decision in Jobcentre Plus and then an
independent review at the IRS, if Jobcentre Plus has 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 it can be looked
at here at the IRS.
If Jobcentre Plus does not receive your application by
the end of March 2013 you cannot be considered for an award and Jobcentre Plus
will not process your application. Don't forget that this falls during Easter
weekend, so it would be best to get your application to Jobcentre Plus by
Thursday 28th March.
Help that may be available from 1st April
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
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 authority
and you may wish to approach them for more information. More information about
the Scottish Welfare Fund is also available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/welfarereform/socialfund
The Welsh Government may be able to offer help via its Assistance
Fund, which will be delivered by Northgate Public Services.
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.