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Hardship Support Scheme

Nottingham's Discretionary Hardship Support Scheme provides support to Nottingham citizens.

The Hardship Support Scheme provides critical short-term financial help and help with essential household goods.

The word icon Local Discretionary Hardship Support Scheme [144kb] is split into two parts:

Hardship Support - for people who need critical short-term financial help

Household Support - for people who need help to establish or maintain independent living in the community. (This will be in the form of essential household goods).

Do you qualify?

You can receive Hardship Support if you fulfil these eligibility criteria:

  • are aged 16 or over
  • can demonstrate that they are currently resident in Nottinghamand can demonstrate a clear connection with Nottingham by having been a permanent resident for 3 of the last 5 years as well as demonstrating a recent connection with Nottingham by having lived in Nottingham for 6 of the last 12 months. (This excludes time spent living in temporary accommodation and in prison - see 4.2 for variations to the eligibility criteria).
  • are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Job Seekers Allowance (both income based and contribution based)
    • Employment and Support Allowance (both income based and contribution based)
    • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit element)
    • Working Tax Credit
  • have not received more than three awards of Hardship Support and one award of Household Support from the Scheme in the previous rolling 12 month period.

Help from the Household Support part of the Scheme will only be made to applicants who meet the above criteria and are also in one of the following groups:

  • care leavers to whom Nottingham has a statutory responsibility
  • Fair Access to Care (FACS) eligible citizens requiring resettlement
  • Those fleeing domestic violence and requiring resettlement but not accommodated within supported accommodation
  • refugees resident in the City and granted permanent leave to remain
  • people assessed as being destitute to whom the local authority has a statutory duty
  • homeless people requiring resettlement where they have been assessed as homeless by Nottingham's Housing Aid Service and are referred to the DEHS by Nottingham's Housing Aid Service. This includes:
    • statutorily homeless people requiring resettlement but not accommodated in supported accommodation.
    • homeless people placed in non-NCC contracted supported accommodation through the Homeless Prevention Gateway or assessed as a rough sleeper by the Gateway
  • people deemed at risk of losing their independence or at risk of significant harm by the Council if not able to access significant essential household item(s)
  • people facing extreme hardship following disaster and where the loss is uninsured

Help from the local DHSS will be made to applicants who do not fulfil all of the eligibility criteria above and who are in one of the following groups:

  • Those fleeing domestic violence and requiring resettlement in Nottingham, and clothing or transport.
  • Prison leavers who were resident in Nottingham for 3 out of last 5 years but do not meet local connection criteria of living in Nottingham for 6 out of the last 12 months due to imprisonment.
  • Those who have applied for out of work benefits and are awaiting a decision and/or are appealing a decision and have not had the outcome.
  • Those people who have had a change in circumstances affecting an existing claim.
  • Those starting work and signed off while awaiting a first salary payment.

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Since the 1st April 2013 the City Council has closely monitored the DEHS scheme.

Officers have undertaken a review of this new scheme to ensure that the scheme is meeting the appropriate needs of citizens including those people in the following groups:

  • Those fleeing domestic violence and requiring resettlement in Nottingham, and clothing or transport.
  • Those who have applied for out of work benefits and are awaiting a decision and/or are appealing a decision and have not had the outcome.
  • Those people who have had a change in circumstances affecting an existing claim.
  • Those starting work and signed off while awaiting a first salary payment.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list and each claim will be considered individually based on the evidence provided to support the application.

In addition to the above access route to the Scheme, referrals will be accepted from authorised agencies or professionals. Agencies/professionals who wish to be authorised will be required to have face to face contact with citizens and will also be required to provide advice and support to citizens to deal with the issues creating hardship.

 Specific arrangements to help people who have been homeless and young people leaving care.

Homeless people - Nottingham City Council contracted supported accommodation providers will have responsibility for working with homeless citizens to obtain the essential household items. This means that these citizens will not be able to apply directly for the Household Support and should contact their housing support worker or someone from a day centre, advice agency or hostel.

Young People leaving care - Care leavers are to be fast tracked through the scheme. The team who support young people leaving care will be able to make applications on behalf of care leavers.

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How to apply and contact us?

You can apply using the following methods:

  1. Online - Complete the online application form
  2. Telephone - (0115) 8765001

In your application you must include:

  • Evidence that you are currently resident in Nottingham and have been a permanent resident of Nottingham for 3 of the last 5 years and have also lived in Nottingham for 6 of the last 12 months
  • Evidence of your identity
  • Evidence of your need
  • The name and address of the person making the claim
  • What support you are requested i.e. Emergency Support or Household Support
  • Why the application is being made and what consequences there will be if an award is not made
  • Details of other assistance you have sought or considered before making the application and the result

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Where to go for help and support?

If you require assistance to complete an application you can ask for help from a support worker, social worker, probation officer or at one of the places listed below:

  • Voluntary Sector agencies, such as Advice Nottingham or Citizens Advice Bureau. Click here for more information. 
  • Probation Offices
  • Neighbourhood Offices
  • Children's Centres
  • Homeless Centres
  • Charities

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Small Loan Scheme

If you do not fulfil the eligibility criteria for Hardship Support or Household Support then you may be able to apply for a word icon Small Loan [83kb] from Nottingham Credit Union.

To apply for a loan you must demonstrate that you:

  • Are over the age of 18 years old
  • Can demonstrate that they are currently resident in Nottingham and can demonstrate a clear connection with Nottingham by having been a permanent resident for 3 of the last 5 years as well as demonstrating a recent connection with Nottingham by having lived in Nottingham for 6 of the last 12 months. Are on a low income
  • Are experiencing or are on the brink of experiencing a period of financial vulnerability or difficulty
  • Are in a crisis with no other means of support

If you're eligible for a Small Loan, the Council will refer you to Nottingham Credit Union.

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