From April 2013 changes to welfare support meant that two discretionary elements of the ‘Social Fund’ - Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants - were no longer be available from The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Instead the upper tier local authorities Essex County Council, Thurrock District Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, took on the responsibility of delivering an alternative, localised scheme.
The new ‘Essential Living Fund’ is administered by Southend-On-Sea Borough Council for the whole Essex area, with funding from The Department of Work and Pensions. Applicants are required to apply either by telephone on 0300 7900124 or online at using the link in Related Content and will then be assessed for suitability.
Those successful will be provided with support which is relevant to their situation, which could be in the form of provision of pre-pay cards or furniture along with essential information and advice.