Community Care grants have been abolished and from 1 April 2013 will no longer be available.Community care grants were one-off payments from the social fund for people on benefits who needed extra financial help to enable them to live independently.
What was a community care grant?
A community care grant was a payment from the social fund for people on certain benefits to help meet costs which would enable them to remain in the community.
Like all payments from the social fund, the amount of money available to help people was limited, so you had to make a case for why you should get a payment. Not everyone who applied was helped.
Community care grants were often used to help people remain in their homes or to help with the costs of setting up a home.
If your application for a community care grant was refused
If you made an application for a community care grant before 31 March 2013 and it was refused, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. To do this, you must:
- apply in writing
- apply within 28 days of the date the decision was given
- explain clearly the reasons why you think the decision was unfair.
If you are not happy with any decision made on your application and want to ask for a review, get advice. It is often difficult to get decisions about the social fund changed, but the help of an adviser could help you increase your chances of getting a grant - use our advice services directory to find a local advice centre.
If the decision is not reviewed in your favour, you can then ask the Independent Review Service (IRS) to look at your application again. The IRS can change the decision if it was wrong.
What help is available now?
Your local council may offer a scheme similar to the community grant scheme to help people living locally. Each council can decide what type of help it provides in its area, and this could be help with money, vouchers or practical help. Not everyone who applies will be helped as the fund in each area is limited. See our page Cash in a crisis to find out more about local welfare support and other alternatives to community care grants.
If you need furniture for your new home or to help you remain in your home, you may get help from a furniture recycling project.
If you need help because of a disability, you may get help to fund adaptations to your home.