Wellbeing Support Fund
Our Exeter Wellbeing Support Fund is there to give rapid short-term financial support. It is aimed at those in financial hardship as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme is for anyone who is not already catered for through other means. Meeting an immediate need, by providing for items or support that there is no current help for.
This may include, but is not limited to:
Emergency short term support where the applicant would be severelydisadvantaged if their needs are not met or mitigated. The immediate help can be for the applicant or any member of their household. This includes: household essentials (e.g. food, heat, power, nappies, baby milk), essential travel, essential advice and support services.
Essential medication for anyone in the household, including pets. Items related to specific dietary or cultural needs
Essential monthly expenditure, which cannot be deferred
Help with utility bills, or to prevent insurance default. This only applies where the supplier does not have a Covid-19 rescue package
Information and advice to help increase self-reliance and to maintain financial independence in the longer term. For example: DWP, CAB, or new Covid-19 related grants and funding schemes
Other immediate support necessary for the fundamental wellbeing of the applicant and family
Items not currently accessible through the foodbank, e.g. pet food or toiletries
Educational support for families home schooling
A larger essentials package that lasts longer than 3 days
Who can apply?
The following groups of people have been identified as eligible to apply. There may be others that exist or emerge and we may amend this list:
Self-employed people who are not able to trade, in the short-term. This applies until tax-based grants are paid from June 2020.
Self-employed people who started business recently and are not eligible for a grant.
Business owners unable to claim for their dividends under the Job Retention Scheme, and who also do not qualify for the Self-Employed Scheme.
Employees who have recently lost their job or those still in work but working less hours. This applies where Universal Credit is not yet in payment, or represents a significant drop in income.
Employees laid off, but not eligible for furlough.
Employees who are sick and either not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, or where Statutory Sick Pay represents a significant drop in income.
People who are isolated and unable to source supplies. This applies to those not served by local voluntary help or by shielding.
Older people who are struggling because of increased vulnerability. For example: carers and family cannot visit. This applies to those not served by local voluntary help.
People with little or no access to disposable income.
This is not an exhaustive list of groups. So please don’t be put off from applying if none of these categories apply to you.
The application process
Covid-19 Exeter Wellbeing Support Fund is a local discretionary scheme.
Be resident or have a local connection to Exeter, and
be over 16 years of age, and
be without sufficient resources to meet the immediate short term needs of themselves or dependents, and
not have received financial assistance from another source for the same reason.
All applicants will be required to:
complete an online application form; and
have a telephone interview with an officer to complete a basic financial assessment. This helps us to determine the need for assistance.
How to apply to the Exeter Wellbeing Support Fund Please complete our Individuals requesting community support form. If you need help to complete the online application form please call 01392 265000. Lines are open Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00, Sat-Sun 09.00-12.00.
What happens when you apply?
We will ask if you have applied for an income related benefit or Council Tax Support. If you have not, then we will advise you about your potential entitlements and how to claim.
Support will usually be provided from the fund once. In exceptional circumstances repeat applications will be considered on merit. In the case of repeat applications we may discuss referrals to other agencies.
An award will not usually be a cash payment. Instead we may use things like supermarket vouchers, or pay for a taxi to a medical appointment. But if all other means of support have been explored and cannot solve immediate hardship, we may need to make a payment directly into your bank account. All awards from the fund will be made as quickly as possible to meet the agreed needs of the household. Any assistance offered will take your circumstances into account. Especially where the applicant or their family are vulnerable.
The scheme is discretionary and there is no statutory right to an appeal or review. However, you can write to us if you would like our decision to be reviewed. This will be undertaken by a senior officer not involved in the original decision. Their decision will be final and no further right of appeal or review is allowed.
To effectively deal with an application, our officer will need to ask questions or seek evidence. This is to establish the facts before making a decision. Failure by the applicant to disclose a material fact or to make a false application will be treated as a fraudulent application. Where fraud has been detected the applicant will be refused any further assistance. Where appropriate, we may prosecute fraudulent applicants.