DWP Jobcentre: What are Benefit Advances, Hardship Payments and Flexible Support Funds?

The Sunday Times reports today [£] that DWP staff are being trained not to mention Short Term Benefit Advances, Hardship Payments and Flexible Support Funds. Below are links to resources on all these types of support.

There also other sources financial help through Local Welfare assistance schemes, the Social Fund: New baby Sure Start Maternity Grant, Cold Weather Payment, Winter Fuel Payment, Budgeting Loans and Funeral Payments. Grants can also be claimed for financial and other support and Food Banks can help out in times of crisis.

Short Term Benefit Advances

Who does it help? – How much does it pay? – How do I make a claim? – Challenging a decision http://www.turn2us.org.uk/information__resources/benefits/social_fund/short_term_benefit_advances.aspx

Short-term benefit advances: tools for advisers http://www.cpag.org.uk/stba-adviser-tools

Hardship Payments

Explanatory leaflet (JSA), Claim forms (JSA/ESA/Universal Credit) and DWP guidance http://refuted.org.uk/2014/10/10/hardshiprecoverable/

Can you claim a hardship payment of JSA or ESA? http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/ask-cpag-online-can-you-claim-hardship-payment-jsa-or-esa

Flexible Support Fund

JSA,  Expenses and Jobcentre Flexible Support Fund http://refuted.org.uk/2013/10/14/flexible/

Copies of DWP guidance and answers to related questions provided under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) aims to give support, including training, to help you start or move towards finding work. It can also be used to cover costs for goods and services that include: travel to interviews – childcare –  tools – clothing and uniforms to start work
The FSF is discretionary, which means that there is no automatic right to receive support.   http://about.universalcredit.service.gov.uk/kms/Pages/Flexible_Support_Fund.htm