Department for Work and Pensions
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Re-designing local welfare services – a call for evidence response

Local communities will be at the heart of re-designing local welfare services, according to evidence published by the Government yesterday.

As part of the Welfare Reform Bill, funds for Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for general living expenses will be transferred to Local Authorities and devolved administrations by April 2013.

Today, the Department for Work and Pensions’ response to a Call for Evidence on how to deliver and design new local services revealed huge scope for innovation and creativity.

Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said:

"For too long people have been let down by a disconnected welfare service and this is the first step in empowering local communities to design and deliver local services tailored to meet the needs of their most vulnerable members.

"This evidence will assist the development of the new services and demonstrates the potential for local innovation, strengthening and developing partnerships between local government and community based organisations."

The report also contains new information about the current scheme that will help local authorities in developing their plans, including for the first time local authority level social fund data.

Notes to Editors:

A copy of the response is available here:

Social Fund: reform

The Social Fund currently consists of a discretionary and a regulated scheme.

  • Discretionary Scheme: Community Care Grants, Budgeting Loans and Crisis Loans.
  • Regulated Scheme: Cold Weather Payments, Funeral Payments, Sure Start Maternity Grants and Winter Fuel Payments.

We have already announced as part of wider welfare reform that the discretionary elements will be reformed from 2013.

  • The Welfare Reform White Paper announced that local authorities in England and devolved administrations will deliver reformed support to replace Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for general living expenses.
  • Crisis Loan alignment payments, interim payments of benefit and Budgeting Loans will be replaced by a system of payments on account integrated into benefits.
  • Replacing Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans with provision tailored to local services and integrated with wider support will ensure support properly targeted at those in the greatest need.

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