Government Still Trying To Hide Crisis Loan Replacements

This is another piece of information that should be known to everyone facing unemployment and the problems of making ends meet on benefit payments. The Void notes that, although Crisis Loans are being phased out, they have been replaced by Short Term Benefit Advances, which are available to those suffering delays in payment for their benefits. He also details how these advances may be claimed and has a link to the guidelines on the Advance issued to Job Centre, Contact Centre and DWP staff published on the website of the Child Poverty Action Group. As for the government not publicising these benefits, that seems in line with the policies of John Major’s government. Under his administration there was little official promotion of various benefits for the unemployed, sick and disabled. This allowed the government not only to save money, but also to claim that the benefits available were so generous, they were underused. I can remember the way various public information films, supposedly promoting various forms of benefit appeared, which stated that there were so many millions in benefit going unclaimed every year, while not actually saying what these benefits were or how they could be claimed. To understand fully what benefits may be available, you really do need to get hold of the guides to the welfare system produced by organisations like the Child Poverty Action Group. I’ve used their handbook myself, and they really are an immensely useful and encyclopaedic resource to the benefits and loan payments available.

the void

The DWP have today released guidance on what’s left of the Social Fund which completely ignores the replacement for Crisis Loans – arguably one of the most vital sources of support for people in an emergency.

Crisis Loans were small sums of money which could be borrowed from the government to cover periods of hardship due to benefit delays or household emergencies.  Often they were used to provide vital support when someone had been a victim of crime, or faced a flood, fire or other personal disaster.

The loans were rarely more than £60 and had an almost 100% repayment rate, meaning the cost to the tax payer was almost zero.  Despite this, they were abolished completely on the 1st April this year in a petty and spiteful move by Iain Duncan Smith which is likely to leave the poorest dependent on both legal and illegal loan sharks.

Claimants in…

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