The Trafford Assist scheme is changing from April 2018
Trafford Assist is Trafford's Local Welfare Assistance scheme designed to help residents:
- Meet immediate short-term needs in an emergency or as a result of a disaster.
- Return to or remain in the community and help them to live independently in their own home.
To receive an award, you must be able to show that you have no other means of getting help and an award is the only way that you can avoid serious damage or risk to the health or wellbeing of you or your family.
What has changed?Back to top
From 1st April, the Trafford Assist phone line will be replaced with a new online claim form, the introduction of this form will speed up processing.
Alongside this we will also put measures in place to identify and support customers who are digitally excluded, and to identify barriers people are facing in getting online. Trafford library staff and volunteers are ready to help you take advantage of all the services available through our online services and the wider internet. We can help you get to grip with an iPad, tablet, smartphone or PC. Call in at any library; staff or volunteers may be able to help you get started straightaway or can arrange a suitable time for them to come back in for a longer visit. Some libraries can also help with further training and advice.
The new and improved form is designed to make it easier for customers and partner organisations supporting making their first application. A full application form will be required for furniture and subsequent applications. A telephone call-back service will be provided to customers who cannot apply online.
Food vouchers will be replacing food parcels. This is to give customers more choice, and the option of purchasing a well balanced diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Menu planners and recipe ideas will be handed out.
Who can get an award?Back to top
You do not need to be getting any benefits or entitlements to receive an award but you must satisfy the following criteria:
- You must be aged 16 or over.
- You must be a UK resident.
- You must live in Trafford or be planning to move into Trafford (within the next 6 weeks).
Each case is decided on its merits and your circumstances, income and capital will be taken into account before a decision is made.
Are there any other restrictions?Back to top
- If you are applying for an item such as a fridge freezer then you can only make one application within a 24 month rolling period for the same item.
- Food parcels and other emergency awards are restricted to 2 consecutive applications within a 12 month rolling period, although additional awards may be considered in exceptional circumstances.
- If you are already receiving support from other agencies or charities then the fund cannot duplicate this provision.
What kind of things can I apply for?Back to top
White goods and furniture.
In certain circumstances, the scheme can award essential one off items. To receive an award, you must be able to show that you have no other means of getting help and an award is the only way that you can avoid serious damage or risk to the health or wellbeing of you or your family. In order to assess your need, you may be referred for budgeting support prior to your award being granted. Trafford Assist will also carry out a visit to your home.
Food vouchers will be based on family size, and individual circumstances. If you have recently applied for Universal Credit and don’t have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment, you may be able to get an advance of your first Universal Credit payment.
The scheme can help residents on prepayment cards with an emergency top up of gas or electric. Awards are made through a voucher system and are credited onto your pre-payment card at a Paypoint Outlet.
In certain situations the scheme can pay to meet essential, one off, emergency travelling expenses.
How do I apply?Back to top
To apply simply complete the Online application form.
There are also a number of agencies who can help you to make an application and help verify your details and circumstances. If you require support accessing a PC, please visit your local library where computer access is available.
How do you decide?Back to top
We look at a number of different factors such as:
- Whether you meet the eligibility criteria.
- The nature of the emergency or situation.
- You and your family’s financial circumstances.
- Any existing support, payments or award you receive or may be entitled to.
- Any other relevant information.
- The amount of budget remaining.
All decisions are discretionary and made on a case by case basis.
When will I find out?Back to top
We will aim to deal with your application within the following timescales:
- In an emergency situation a decision will normally be made on the same day, depending on the time of the application.
The service is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and no awards are made outside of these hours.
- In all other cases awards will be decided within 3 working days.
In an emergency we will notify you of your decision by email or phone so long as you have provided these details. In all other cases we will inform you of your decision in writing.
What should I do if I disagree with a decision?Back to top
You can ask us to look at our decision again. Please complete an appeal form stating the reasons why you disagree with our decision. You should send this with any further information or evidence which you want us to consider.
The Council must receive a request for a review within one week of being notified of the decision. An Officer of the Council will review the decision; this will not be the Officer who made the original decision.
Where the customer is still not satisfied, they will be entitled to a final review which must be made in writing within one week of the date notified of the outcome of the review.
An Exchequer Services Team Leader will conduct this final review and the decision made will be reported in writing to the customer.
What are the timescales for appeals?Back to top
In an emergency situation, appeals will be dealt with within 1 working day. If you are still not satisfied then you can ask for your appeal to be heard a senior member of staff, which will take 3 working days.
In all other circumstances appeals will be heard within 5 working days.