The Social Fund is a national government scheme to help people with expenses that are difficult to meet when on benefits or a low income. An array of services are available under the initiative including funeral payments, budgeting loans, Sure Start maternity grants and winter fuel payments. These funds are often applied for via professional and voluntary advisers working for agencies such as Turn 2 Us, the citizens advice bureau and Advice Now. However, individuals can additionally apply for these funds directly through the government website, although seeking advice first is recommended to ensure the most suitable solutions can be provided.
Applications for different forms of assistance under the social fund are administered by different arms. This can make finding the right organisation to phone once you have rung the Social Fund contact number quite confusing for claimants. By breaking down different sectors of the social fund below, contacting the regulators for more information or to make a complaint couldn’t be simpler.
The government indicate that claims under the social fund for funeral payments must be made within 3 months of the funeral taking place. The claim can be made directly through the website by filling in the government claim form,seeking support from Job Centre Plus or contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Citizens Advice run a Facebook and Twitter page which are both responsive to messages. However, the Twitter page makes clear it cannot respond with advice over the platform, so a Facebook inbox message would be more suitable in these circumstances. If you have a complaint to make regarding the way the Citizens Advice handled your claim you can get in touch with them directly via the above platforms. If this fails to provide a satisfactory resolution then the Financial Ombusdman can be contacted via Facebook or Twitter.
Budgeting loans are designed to help low income families with additional expenses such as furniture or travel costs. Applicants can apply directly on the government webpage or contact the social fund team via phone on 0345 603 6967.
The Money Advice Service can help with any queries regarding budgeting loans and offer further information and advice surrounding financial issues. They are contactable via the website, on Facebook, Twitter or even their Youtube channel. Any complaints regarding these services can be raised with the Financial Ombusdman once all internet complaints processed have been exhausted. The ombudsman can be contacted via Facebook or Twitter.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
Under the social fund eligible claimants are entitled to a one off payment of £500 for a maternity grant, designed to be spent on the costs of a new born or adopted baby. The grant must be claimed within 3 months of the babies birth by filling in this form, which is administered by Job Centre plus. Unfortunately the Job Centre has limited online contact facilities at present, with no national Facebook or Twitter accounts. Instead to contact your local office call 0345 604 3719 for further details.