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Extra help, crisis support, free school meals and DHP

 

 

Get help with your application

We can give advice, and help you complete claim forms for Housing Benefit, council tax reduction and free school meals. We can also provide a translation and sign language service.

Contact the benefits team to get extra help.

Other benefits you may be entitled to

There's information on the government's website about all available benefits, and tools to help you work out what you can get

Discretionary housing payment (DHP)

DHPs are short term payments that help cover your housing costs. If you’re finding it difficult to pay your rent, we might able to offer you a DHP. You can apply if:

  • you already receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
  • your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit doesn't cover the full cost of your rent

DHPs are not for:

  • services that are included in your rent
  • making up reductions in benefit due to sanctions or overpayments
  • paying an increase in your rent due to arrears
  • paying your council tax

DHPs are limited, so we have to make sure we are helping the people who need it the most. We will consider your income, expenditure and personal circumstances. We will also look at what you’ve done to improve your own financial situation before making a decision.

Apply for a DHP

How can I improve my finances?

Make savings in your spending

The DHP fund is not available to support a lifestyle. We will look at areas where we feel you could make savings - for example, you could reduce a television package, get a better utilities deal or switch supermarkets. 

Speak to your landlord

If you rent privately and you are a good tenant your landlord may accept a lower rent for a short period of time. All landlords should be willing to discuss a repayment plan on existing arrears.

Increase your income

You might be able to increase your work hours, or take on agency work if you’re looking for something full-time. You may be entitled to other benefits – for example, if you are unable to work, Personal Independence Payments may help.

Are you in the right property for you?

You might be living in a property that you can’t afford. A move to a more suitable property now could give you a healthier financial future.  Register with whg's Choose & Move service, and talk to local property agents about your needs.

Is the household contributing?

Working out if other members of the household could contribute more, even short-term, may get you through a difficult patch.

Supporting evidence for a DHP claim

To support your application, you’ll need to provide the following evidence:

  • proof of your rent payments
  • proof of your rent arrears
  • Universal Credit award that proves inclusion of the housing element
  • proof of deposit or rent in advance amounts
  • recent bank statements

There is no formal right of appeal for a DHP decision. If your application is declined you can ask us to reconsider, and provide further evidence to support this.

Free school meals

You can apply online for free school meals if your child attends school within Walsall Borough and you meet the eligibility criteria.

Council tax discounts, reductions and exemptions

You may be eligible for council tax reduction. You can apply online.

State pension

Find out when you're eligible, what you'll get, and apply online on the government's website

Walsall crisis support scheme (WCSS)

If you or your family need support in emergency circumstances you can apply for a crisis award or a community care award. An award will be in the form of goods, such as a cooker, that we will buy for you. As we decide both using a similar criteria, an application for one award can also be treated as an application for the other.

Crisis award

You can apply for a crisis award if there is a severe risk to the health and safety of you or your family that cannot be met from another source. For example:

  • no access to essential needs (food, heating and clothing)
  • deterioration in health
  • domestic abuse, neglect and harm
  • breakdown of the family unit

A crisis is an event such as major flooding, gas explosion or a house fire. It can also be having no funds available to meet daily living expenses. It is different from the pressures of managing on a low income.

Community care award

A community care award aims to help a vulnerable person remain in, and become integrated within, the community. You can apply for yourself, or member of your immediate family can apply for you.

We will consider applications for:

  • helping people who are leaving care to establish themselves in the community
  • helping people to stay in the community rather than enter care 
  • easing exceptional pressures
  • helping a prisoner or young offender to readjust to life outside prison
  • helping people to set up a home as part of a resettlement programme

How to apply

You will need to supply information that validates your need, circumstances and eligibility.

Download the WCSS policy for full details about eligibility, and the application and appeals process.

Appointees

An appointee deals with the benefits of a person who cannot manage their own affairs because they’re mentally incapable or severely disabled.

You can download an application form to become an appointee, and find out more on the government’s website.

Money and debt advice

You can contact any of the following services for advice about debt:

South Staffs and Severn Trent offer water discount schemes. You can also apply for a warm home discount from the government.

Citizens Advice can help you open a bank account and Walsave credit union can help with savings and loans.

The government's website has advice about earnings and taxes and other employment information.

The British Legion provides practical, financial and mental health support to members and veterans of the armed forces and their families. The Samaritans can also help with mental health and emotional support.