Our Local Assistance Scheme is designed to help the most vulnerable residents in meeting an immediate short-term need or maintaining their independence in the community.

If you meet the qualifying conditions described below, help can be given with daily living expenses and/or furniture items and white goods in the following circumstances.

Daily Living Expenses to help meet an immediate short-term need for goods or services that has arisen due to an emergency, disaster or unforeseen circumstances. If your application is successful, assistance will be given by providing any of the following:

  • Food vouchers to purchase food;
  • Energy vouchers that can be used to pay your gas or electricity supplier;
  • Vouchers for clothing in emergency situations;
  • Help with emergency travel costs.

Furniture items and white goods such as cookers, washing machines, beds and bedding to help you remain in the community, or move back into the community after a period in supported or temporary accommodation.   

Awards are not granted to everyone, you must meet the qualifying conditions outlined below. 
Please read these before submitting an application.

Qualifying conditions

We only have a limited amount of funding for the scheme which means we have to make sure we are helping the most vulnerable residents who cannot meet their need in any other way.  To be eligible for assistance from the scheme you must:

  • Be aged 16 or over and have no other form of immediate financial assistance, for example, family, friends, employer, savings or other available funding; and
  • Live in Doncaster or be planning to move to Doncaster following a period in supported, emergency or unsettled accommodation. If you are planning to move to Doncaster, you must have proven links to Doncaster, for example, you must have previously lived here during the last six months or have close family members living here.

In addition, you must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be in receipt of a means-tested benefit (Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, the basic level of Universal Credit, Guarantee Pension Credit), or
  • Be on a low income which would normally mean you are receiving the maximum rate of Council Tax Support for the address you live at (even if you don’t receive any of the above means-tested benefits), or
  • Be temporarily without any income, for example, if you are fleeing domestic violence,
And your need has arisen due to an emergency, disaster or unforeseen circumstances, or you need help to remain in the community, or move back into the community after a period in supported or temporary accommodation.

Normally only one award from the Local Assistance Scheme will be made to you or your household within a 12 month period unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If your application is for replacement white goods or furniture, normally, these can only be considered if you have a support worker or relevant organisation helping you with your application.  The item(s) must also be needed for health reasons or to substantially improve your living conditions.

What proof and evidence checks are made?

We will check the details you have provided on your application with our records, for example, Council Tax records to confirm you are a Doncaster resident, and with records held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if you are receiving benefits.

We may also:
  • ask you for evidence of your crisis or emergency, for example, details of any organisations or agencies you have reported an incident or loss to or who are supporting you.
  • check Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction records to confirm your financial and household circumstances where this information is not available from DWP records.
  • check other records held by the Council and St Leger Homes of Doncaster to confirm that you have not received assistance from other crisis or emergency schemes for the same purpose. 

Make an application

Please read the qualifying conditions before applying for help. Please also read the Privacy Notice which tells you how we will use the information you provide in your application.

You can only apply online using the following link:

Applications can be made by you, your appointee, carer or advocate acting on your behalf. If someone makes the application for you, we will ask for proof that they are acting on your behalf.

It is very important that you give full details about your situation when you apply so that we can make sure we take everything into account when we make a decision.

How will I receive my award?

Food and Clothing Vouchers will be emailed to you for you to select from a range of stores.

Energy vouchers will be sent to you by SMS text which are to be redeemed at Paypoint outlet. 

White Goods and Furniture. These will be delivered to you by our chosen retailer. 

How long will it take to receive my award?

We aim to make a decision on your application within 2 working days. You will normally receive an award for Daily Living Expenses within 3 days of your application being granted. You will normally receive an award for furniture items, clothing and white goods within 1 week of your application being granted.

Will I have to repay the value of the goods or items awarded?

Awards from the Local Assistance Scheme are given as a grant, not a loan. This means you will not be asked to repay the money to us.

However, the Council, acting at its sole discretion, may require you to repay an amount equal to the value of any goods provided to you in the event that you sell or dispose of the goods within 6 months of receipt. 

Can I appeal if my application is refused?

Your application will be considered based on:
  • the qualifying conditions for the scheme
  • the information you have given in your application and
  • the budget we have available.
If your application is refused, you can ask us to look at it again. You will need to give reasons why you feel the decision should be reviewed and, where appropriate, provide additional information to support your request. The decision will be reviewed by a different officer to the one who made the original decision. There will be no further right of appeal, however, you will have the right to make a complaint through the Council’s complaints procedure. 

Other sources of help and support

The Government is making extra payments in some benefits to help with the cost of living, details of who qualifies and when payments will be made are on the gov.uk Cost of Living webpage

The Government has also put information about the financial help available to cope with the current rising costs on the gov.uk Help for Households webpage.

The Your Life Doncaster website has useful information and tips for saving money, staying healthy and keeping your home warm. Plus support available locally with the cost of living. 

If you need help with your Council Tax and/or rent, visit the Council Tax and Benefits webpage for details on Council Tax Reduction and Discretionary Housing Payments. 

If you do not think you will qualify for help from our Local Assistance Scheme or, if you apply and your application is unsuccessful, please contact one or more of these organisations depending on your circumstances. 

For further information, please contact us:

Last updated: 03 April 2024 17:02:11

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