Welfare Reform Act includes changes to the discretionary Social Fund, which
will occur after April 2013. In particular:
Grants, Crisis Loans and Budgeting Loans will be abolished.
Grants, and Crisis Loans (for items and general living expenses) will be
replaced by a new localised service, from April 2013. In England this service
will be delivered by Local Authorities. The arrangements for Scotland and Wales
will be determined by the respective devolved Governments.
alignment payments (and interim payments of benefit) will be replaced with a
single system of Short Term Advances. Budgeting Loans will continue for people
on income related benefits until they transfer to Universal Credit; and will
then be abolished once Universal Credit is fully rolled out. Budgeting Advances
will be available to eligible recipients of Universal Credit - these will be a
payment on account of benefit. This will eventually be replicated in Pension
The role of the
Social Fund Commissioner will be abolished at some point after April 2013.
The Social Fund
Commissioner's responses to the following calls for evidence and consultations
are available below: