The Community Care Grant is a social support scheme in the United Kingdom put in place to keep individuals in dire financial needs. As of 1 April 2013, the Welfare Reform Act abolished CCGs, giving way to the Local Assistance Scheme. Because this assistance is a grant, you are not obliged to pay it back. However, Community Care Grants have their requirements, which one must meet to get approval. Your area of residence whether England, Scotland or Wales will dictate where you can apply for the grant. An application does not guarantee approval for funds. Download the SF300 form online or request a copy from Jobcentre Plus. Your option is to ensure that you do it right to increase your chances and a few tips go a long way. Eligibility for Community Care Grants Before you apply for CCG, find out if you satisfy the approval standards. The first applicant must have a qualifying benefit. It means that you need to be a recipient of a Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employee and Support Allowance or Income Support. In cases involving couples, the partners receiving JSAs should be the ones to apply. You may be eligible if you are currently moving out of care and will qualify for any of these payments within six weeks of applying for CCG. Community Care Grants are available to individuals or families under pressure such as those taking care of ailing persons or individuals with disabilities. You can apply for a grant if you are housing a person just released from jail under a temporary licence. It means that the individual has certain limitations like where he can go and who to associate with. Exceptional pressure on a family can also be a visit to see a seriously sick person or attend a funeral; you can get a grant for such situations. Community Care Grants are given to applicants who show that they want to live independently after leaving institutional or residential care. If one has been through a rough period and is facing relocation by the government, then a grant can be given. Another circumstance that can increase your chances of approval is if the applicant can show that he or she is better off living at home rather than in an institution or residential facility. Find out which situation adequately fits your needs and cite it in your application. What to Watch out for A Community Care Grant can be denied for various reasons but knowing the common mistakes will help you avoid them. The government has several social support schemes for specific circumstances, and that means your situation may not qualify for a CCG. For instance, assistance for school fees or meals does not fall under community care grants. You cannot get funds for legal processes or the payment of taxes. Different government agencies handle social support systems and one cannot approve an application that falls under another’s jurisdiction. The point is to avoid clashes among departments. For this reason, identify your needs and find out if they apply to the CCG scheme. CCG is not meant to cater to long-term financial goals like investment or a retirement plan. You cannot apply for a grant to pay for fuel costs to work unless the circumstances are very unique. If you have housing costs such as council tax, you cannot use CCG to pay them. In instances where house repairs, storage or removal of goods falls under a housing association or local authority, a community care grant will not apply. You cannot apply for CCG to ask for domestic help. Expenses of less than £30 are usually rejected as well unless the costs cover daily meals or transport. Only someone who is caring for a sick person or prisoner can cite groceries and meals as daily expenses. High Priority Situations According to the Social Fund Guide, some circumstances warrant high priority when evaluating whether to give a grant or not. If you can prove that the funds will have an immediate and substantial effect on your situation, your application can receive urgent priority. Some of the elements that can impact priority during approval are: • Mental health problems or learning difficulties • Behavioural issues that stem from drug and alcohol abuse • Restricted mobility or physical ability • Unstable family circumstances or cases of abuse • Chronic physical or mental problems Detailing your needs Another way to ensure that your application is considered favourably is to list your requirements in great detail. Avoid the inclusion of non-essentials because they can lower the priority of your application. Items that you can list include necessary kitchen appliances like fridges and cookers, bedding, bed, towels, washing machine and crockery, among others. Specificity goes a long way when requesting for a community care grant. For instance, if your list of items consists of beddings, you can add that you require two bed sheets, two pillowcases and a duvet to help with the cold weather. If you are caring for a sick person, you can list a cooker and say that it will make it easier to prepare healthy meals. You may be relocating and being forced to leave some of the appliances and furnishings at your old place, which means that you will require new ones. Give a reason why a certain provision is necessary to alleviate your situation. The size of a community care grant varies from one individual to another based on their needs. Note that this grant does not serve as an income and, therefore, will not have any bearing on your regular income. Contacting Community Care Grant Need to speak to a member of the Department for Work and Pensions team about your issues? Our call connection phone numbers should be able to help – get in touch with the right department by dialling one of the contact numbers below. Department Call Connection Phone Numbers Social Fund 0843 506 0283 Crisis Loan 0843 509 2336 Community Care Grant 0843 509 2387 Jobcentre Appointments 0843 509 2322 Job Seeker’s Allowance Claims (New Claims & Existing) 0843 509 2383 Employment & Support Allowance 0843 509 2374 Income Support 0843 509 2374 Incapacity Benefit 0843 504 0374 Universal Credit 0843 509 2382 Universal Credit (New Claims & Appointments) 0843 509 2382 Maternity Allowance 0843 504 9433 Personal Independence Payment 0843 509 2380 Calls to the Social Fund on their direct number 0800 169 0140 are free from any BT landline (this include call/phone boxes) and also includes calls from most of the larger mobile phone networks.