Due to these incredibly difficult times, the council has in place different support packages to help residents. For instance, those who are struggling to afford food or keep their home warm may be able to seek assistance.
This can come in the form of grant called the Covid-19 Hardship Related Assistance (sometimes referred to as the Covid-19 Emergency Assistant Grant).
This grant is provided to any households struggling to afford food and other essentials due to Covid-19, for instance hours have been reduced at work.
The grant can pay for:
- food and housekeeping (groceries, toiletries, baby essentials etc)
- essential travel costs (job hunting, starting a new job, medical appointments etc)
- telephone and broadband (mobile phones, top-ups, broadband charge etc)
- gas and electricity
- clothing, including school uniforms
- essential furniture / white goods
- rent in advance if you are under immediate threat of eviction due to Covid-19 and your landlord agrees to stop the eviction if we pay some or all of your arrears
- mortgage arrears that you can prove are because of Covid-19
How to apply
If you need help to apply for Covid-19 Hardship Related Assistance please visit – https://sheffield-framework.egovhub.net/SOCIALFUND/launch Or call the Council on 0114 273 4567
Applications can be made by 3rd parties on behalf of others, but payment will only be sent to the recipient.
The council is also working with partners across the city to support the most vulnerable in our communities – to ask their advice on the application process and how to make this as easy as possible.
The Council also provide the Sheffield Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) Crisis Grants (this was already in place before COVID due to increased levels of financial hardship) which provides Sheffield residents with financial assistance in a number of circumstances – including extra heating costs that have been incurred recently as a result of the pandemic. This scheme has been active since it was enacted by Labour councillors in 2013, and is a discretionary scheme funded by the council with no support from Central Government.
The Sheffield Crisis Grants don’t have to be repaid and they’re intended to help people who don’t have enough money meet their short term needs arising from a crisis following an emergency. They’re used to prevent serious risk to the health and safety of an individual or their family.
How to apply
This scheme is available to Sheffield residents who have insufficient income to meet their needs and are over 15 years old.
To about the Crisis Grant please call the Local Assistance Scheme Service 0114 273 4567
More information can also be found here – https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam/sheffield/docs/benefits/local-assistance-grants-and-loans/Sheffield%20Local%20Assistance%20Scheme%20May%202019.pdf
How many people have these schemes helped?
The Covid-19 Hardship Related Assistance (Provided under the Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) is making an impact and has supported 312 households with general costs since 19th October 2020.
In addition, the Sheffield Local Assistance Scheme Crisis Grant has supported 196 household with heating costs since 01st April 2020.
The winter Grant was launched in December and will run until the end of March 21. It is specifically targeted and so far has provided vouchers to 29,432 children (living in vulnerable families /eligible for free school meal, families supported through our care system) to support for food and utilities (Two weeks support). The Council will repeat this exercise in Feb and release a further £20 payment per week to this cohort
Councillor Bob Johnson, Leader of Sheffield City Council: “The council has a Covid-19 Hardship Related Assistance which people can apply to for support with heating bills for people who are having difficulties covering these costs due to the crisis. This covers support for people not just for heating but where people are struggling to pay for food and essentials or who are under threat of eviction because they can’t pay their rent.
“We know what a massive impact the pandemic has had and continues to have on people’s finances over the past year, on top of the pressures that many people across the city have already been under which have increased over austerity. That’s why we have already had a Sheffield Local Assistance Scheme before the pandemic which has also continued to support people through the pandemic. Together these schemes have supported over 500 people and we would encourage people who need support to apply through the councils website.
“In addition to this the Winter Grant was launched in December and will run until the end of March. So far we have provided vouchers to nearly 30,000 children to support for food and utilities. We will repeat this exercise in February and release a further £20 payment per week to the people eligible. This is on top of the council stepping in to provide free school meals in the October half-term when the government shamefully refused to do so.