Short Term Benefit Advance Loans are the replacement for the old Crisis Loan for Alingmnet payments as of 1/4/2013, and intended to make payment to people who are awaiting a new claim to benefit or a recent change in circumstances to be processed by the DWP.
How to apply for a Short Term Benefit Advance
Most benefit customers are aware that it used to be possible to apply for an Alignment to Benefit Crisis Loan from the Social Fund and that this was one of the areas if support that was targeted and removed when the new welfare reforms started to take effect on April 1st 2013.
Not as many people are aware that whilst the Alignment to Benefit Crisis Loans were brought to an end and the Discretionary Social fund was disbanded, that a new provision was set up to try to eliminate the need for a Crisis Loan. These are called Short Term Benefit Advances and work in a similar way to the old Crisis Loans.
The idea is that if you are unable to wait for your claim to be processed and you or your family faces a risk to your health and safety, that you can apply for payment of your benefits even before your application is processed.
What could beclassed as being odd, is the fact that the process to decide if you can have a Short term Benefit Advance is much quicker that the benefit claims process, even though it is practically the same except that it has 2-3 MORE steps. The STBA decision process but can be completed in 48 hours…
Here is our quick-fire guide on applying for a STBA
- · Call the Benefit Centre dealing with your application to Benefits and ask SPECIFICALLY for a “Short Term Benefit Advance ”
- ·The application is taken over the phone and passed to a dedicated team
- ·The team go and find your application to Benefits and will attempt to process the claim on that day
- · If the claim CAN be processed (even if it is not due to be processed yet) it will be processed and payment issued THAT DAY
- ·If the clam CANNOT be processed fully a clerical assessment is made as to whether your claim is likely to be accepted.
- ·If your claim is likely to be accepted a STBA is considered and awarded THAT DAY
The Short Term benefit Advance system is discretionary and you have to meet specific Criteria to be able eligible for a payment:
- ·Have recently made a new claim – or have an existing claim to any of the following benefits – Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Pension Credit, State Pension or Care Allowance.
- ·Be likely to receive enough benefit for the STBA loan to be recovered from
- ·Be able to repay the loan from your benefits within 12 weeks (this can be extended to 24 weeks, however this is in exceptional situations)
- ·Be able to show that if a loan is not made, that you or your family at serious risk or danger.
- ·Not be able to find alternative funding anywhere else.
Even if your STBA application is not accepted, in most cases payments of benefits can and will be made much faster than just leaving your application to Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Employment and Support Allowance in the main process, as it will ensure that your application is looked at within days rather than weeks.
Im Adam Laughton, and in a previous life i worked as a Social Fund decision maker and a JSA adviser who is now working with voluntary organisations to help those who apply for Government assistance like Crisis Loans or Budgeting Loans to find the information that then need to make an application.