More people to benefit from financial help

Published: Friday 28th September 18

More people than ever are now eligible to receive financial assistance from Wandsworth Council.

The council’s finance committee last night unanimously agreed to extend the criteria for the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund (WDSF), which is already helping hundreds of residents each year.

The WDSF will now include applicants who are awaiting a decision on an application for an out of work or disability benefit.

The council will also ensure that all foodbank voucher holders are given specific advice and information on the WDSF so that, if necessary, they can be considered before actual referrals to foodbanks are made.

Wandsworth currently provides two forms of discretionary assistance through the Social Fund that is currently available to people who meet certain criteria. These are:

In the last three years more than 4,500 residents have benefited from the WDSF, with invaluable assistance given to people with a huge range of support needs.

Councillor Guy Senior, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund helps hundreds of our residents each year, providing emergency support to people who need it the most.

“I am pleased that we have been able to extend the eligibility criteria to now also give assistance to those people who are waiting for benefits, as well making sure that people with foodbank vouchers are fully supported about any help they are entitled to.

“This is all about helping the most vulnerable in our borough and giving assistance to those who need it most. This fund has been invaluable for people year after year and these changes are now going to allow us to help even more of our residents.

“Last night we also unanimously agreed to see what we could achieve in terms of helping homeless people  who have been found accommodation outside the borough with their travel costs.  No London borough provides this service as this has always been a matter for the Mayor, but we agreed to lobby the mayor to consider extending subsidised transport. We will also raise the issue through London Councils and continue to talk to the Wandsworth Foodbank about what else can be done.”

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Recent comments

It's very good to see the criteria have been extended to include people waiting for benefits and it's very good the council have improved publicity about the fund. However, I hope the council will also consider helping two further groups of people: 1) People who are in work but unable to get enough hours and unable to claim benefits due to unpredictable hours/pay; 2) People who have had their sick benefit claim closed because they were unable to attend an appointment. Currently, this group is excluded from DWP Hardship Payments.

28 September 2018