Emergency AssistanCE Scheme Review 2021

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The Emergency AssistanCE Scheme

In 2013 the council introduced its Emergency AssistanCE scheme. This had followed public consultation and was a local response to the ending of Department for Work and Pensions crisis loans and community care grants. The scheme is now funded by local Council Tax payers.

Full details on the current scheme can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/emergencyassistance.

The scheme is designed to support vulnerable people facing immediate hardship, to prevent homelessness, and to keep families together. The scheme provides rent deposits, furniture and white goods (recycled where possible), and emergency food (through local food banks where possible). Unlike the former crisis loans and community care grants it does not provide cash.

The Emergency AssistanCE scheme is designed to meet the following objectives:
  • Help people to get into and stay in employment
  • Support people who are unable to access employment
  • Enable access to affordable housing
  • Develop self-reliance and financial responsibility
  • Provide a safety net to prevent crisis
2017 consultation and revisions to the scheme

A consultation of the scheme was completed in 2017 and the criteria for the scheme were revised:
  • Claims are considered from those living in Cheshire East or moving to the borough as they have a connection to the area
  • Applicants must be considered vulnerable, but this will be determined on a case by case basis.  
  • They must be in receipt of state benefits or are eligible to receive them or on a low wage and unable to get help from friends or family
  • Applicants are expected to work with the team to find ways to resolve the problems that have caused the need for Emergency Assistance help
  • Support will help in emergencies with essential items or food, or to keep or retain a home such as rent deposits, furniture and white goods
  • Applicants can normally get Emergency Assistance support for a maximum of 1 emergency and 1 urgent housing situation in any 12-month period but may be more frequent in exceptional circumstances
  • Further advice and signposting will be provided to all those applying regardless of whether the application is allowed
Applications to the scheme in 2020 / 2021

The following summarises the applications to the scheme in 2020/21:
 
Claims received Claims allowed Claims pending Claims refused Appeals received Appeals allowed
1,284 686 7 591 62 21
 
Breakdown on items £
Furniture & white goods £137,642
Emergency food £5,855
Rent deposits £27,105
Other (including removals) £3,120
Total £173,722