Medway Citizens Advice

Advice for Medway

Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and many others.

Online self help

Local Welfare Provision

Citizens Advice Medway is now operating the Local Welfare Provision Scheme.

This service is for last resort emergencies only. The criteria is strict and the funding pot fixed for a year so a thorough application process will be followed. Cash is not provided.

The scheme should be applied to:

  • Help people to establish themselves in the community following a stay in institutional or residential care, or to remain in the community rather than enter institutional or residential care
  • Ease exceptional pressures on families eg: the breakdown of a relationship (especially involving domestic violence) or onset of a disability / caring responsibility, or a calamity such as fire or flooding
  • Help people setting up home as part of a resettlement programme following for example, homelessness

All applications must be made via the online form below. If you can't access the form, you can visit a local library or our office where you can complete the form.

After the online form is completed, your application will be reviewed and you will be contacted by our office as soon as possible (Working Days only).

When you are contacted by our office, you will be asked additional questions if your application is deemed suitable. You may be told that your application has been unsuccessful based on your application form.

Your application will be terminated at any point through this process if it's identified that you no longer meet the criteria to access the emergency fund.

We will discuss other options that could be available to help with your current need. For example, if you are on qualifying benefits, you must have tried to get an Advance Payment or a Budgeting Loan and you would only be considered for an LWP award if you've been unsuccessful with a request for an Advance Payment or Budgeting Loan. If there are charitable grants you can claim or you are eligible for a Food Voucher, we will explore these options with you first as well. If you are not claiming benefits which you are eligible for, you will need to put in a claim for benefits first. No awards can be granted by this emergency fund until we have proof that all other avenues have been explored.

After discussing your case with you, you'll be invited for a face to face assessment meeting. If you are unable to make a face to face meeting, the interview can be done over the phone but you will still need to send us evidence of your circumstances. If you cannot get the needed evidence to us, your application will not proceed.

We will also do a budget with you to ensure there isn't a better way for you to manage your money to ensure you can pay essential bills and afford whatever you are applying to this fund for. Evidence of bank statements from the applicant (and partner if applicable) will be needed. If you are making payments to debts, you will need to see one of our Money Advice Project Workers.

Finally, we will need to see proof that you have lived in the Medway Towns for at least 1 year. This cannot include time spent in temporary accommodation or prison.

If your application is successful at the end of the assessment process, you will be notified of your award and which goods (if applicable) will need be delivered to the address provided on your initial application.

If you have received an award in the last 12 months, your application will be rejected. You must not be subject to any immigration controls. The fund will not pay for the following under any circumstances:

  • Furnishing emergency housing
  • Any costs normally met by state support (for example, topping up your rent can be met by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit)
  • Tenancy deposits / advance rent payments
  • Repairs of electrical equipment
  • Holidays
  • Installation fees (phone, internet, etc)
  • Mobile phones (including charges, top-ups, etc)
  • Debts
  • Vehicle expenses
  • TV Licence
  • Costs associated with care provision
  • Household repair costs

People who can evidence they've been victims of Domestic Abuse may be exempt from certain criteria.

Please be aware that we are restricted on how much we can spend on each type of award. For example, if you are successfully awarded a bed, there is a limit on how much we can spend on buying the bed for you. Some items will be second hand.

To apply to the LWP fund, please complete and submit an application form below:

Medway Citizens Advice

Contact us

Telephone: 01634 383760
Fax: 01634 383767
info@medwayadvice.org.uk

3rd Floor Kingsley House
37-39 Balmoral Road
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 4PF