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Preston Emergency Assistance Scheme

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Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund is to assist residents of the Preston area who do not have enough resources to meet their immediate short-term needs and require assistance with essential items over the winter period.  

The Household Support Fund will replace the Emergency Assistance Scheme until March 2022.

Apply for the Household Support Fund 

The Preston Emergency Assistance Scheme is to help support residents of the Preston area who do not have enough resources to meet their immediate short-term needs and urgently require assistance with food and essentials items.

You must be experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of Covid-19.

Awards will be made where there is no alternative means of meeting the need.

Only one application per household will be considered in any financial year, currently April 2021 to March 2022.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scheme you must be:

  • Aged 16 years or over
  • A resident of the Preston area - please visit GOV.UK - to find your local council
  • Experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of Covid-19 and not have enough resources to meet your immediate short-term needs

Support available

The scheme can help with short-term living costs such as:

  • Food
  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Essential household appliances
  • Council tax arrears
  • Debt Resolution fees
  • School uniforms.

Council tax arrears will be considered for the year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 up to a maximum of £500 of the arrears and arrangements must be made to pay off the remainder of any arrears and any current council tax liability.

Debt resolution fees such as Debt Relief Order fees will only be considered if you are fully engaged with Preston City Council Debt Advice Services.

Cash will not usually be awarded. 

If white goods such as washing machines or fridges are required, items will be purchased through the scheme and delivery will be arranged directly to your home.   

The scheme will also signpost you to other sources of advice and support to ensure that you get all the assistance you are entitled to. You may be offered a referral for advice and assistance with finance, debt and/or welfare benefits, to help address your long-term needs. 

Restrictions

The scheme does not cover:

  • Any requests for items that are not essential for example debts incurred by gambling, loans/credit cards, HP etc
  • Requests will not be considered if there is evidence on bank statements of excessive non priority spending
  • Applications from those with sufficient income or savings
  • Requests for household items where these are the responsibility of the landlord
  • Rent arrears and/or deposits.

How long will it take for a decision to be made?

Customer notice

We aim to make a decision within 72 hours of receiving all the required information, other than for household goods, where we aim to decide within five working days.

Depending on the level of demand for the scheme, this may not always be possible.

To speed up the application process please ensure you fully complete the application form and provide all the evidence we ask for.

Please do not chase up your application until at least five working days after it was submitted.

How to apply

The Household Support Fund will replace the Emergency Assistance Scheme until March 2022.

Apply for the Household Support Fund 

Please ensure you upload a recent full months bank statement (dated within the last 2 months) showing transactions, your balance and your name and address.           

Otherwise we will not be able to consider your application. We will accept screen shots of your bank statement.

You can also telephone our Community Hub (Preston Together) on 01772 906777 for assistance.

We will need the following information:

  • Where you live
  • Full household details
  • Your circumstances
  • Your income and the affect Covid-19 has had on this
  • Your most recent Bank Statement showing one months transactions and showing your name and address - dated within the last 2 months
  • What support you need and an in depth explanation as to why the support is required.

Submitting evidence

We will contact you if further information is required. Please make a note of your application reference number, as we will ask for this when you are submitting any evidence.

Your evidence can be submitted in the following ways:

Please ensure your name, address and reference number is provided along with any evidence documents.

Can I appeal a decision if may application is unsuccessful? 

As this is a discretionary scheme there is no right of appeal. However, if you think we have overlooked important information then you can ask for us to look at the application again by emailing eas@preston.gov.uk providing reasons along with your name, address and reference number.

This decision will be final.

Your privacy

The information that you provide will be processed in accordance with the general data protection regulation (GDPR) and data protection law for the purpose of provision and management of the Emergency Assistance Scheme.

Your personal information, where provided, will be processed under Article 6,1 (e) of the GDPR - processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

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