Expanding our coverage to Discretionary Support Schemes
Discretionary Support Schemes are crucial in providing timely support to those in need, but their increasing number is adding complexity to the welfare system, making it harder for people to access the support for which they are eligible.
We are expanding our benefits calculator to include the Discretionary Support Schemes offered by all Local Authorities across the UK. This will allow our benefits calculator to provide more effective support for households that are not eligible for national benefits or are facing financial hardship.
Discretionary Support Schemes
Local Authorities manage an ever-growing array of benefits and Discretionary Support Schemes. These local schemes are more flexible than their national counterparts and play a vital role in providing timely support to those in need.
However, the increasing number of local schemes is leading to fragmentation and complexity in the welfare system, making it more difficult for people to access the support for which they are eligible. This results in reduced benefits awareness and uptake rates, with locally administered benefits seeing take-up rates 10% to 30% lower than national benefits (60% vs. 70-90%).
Our benefits calculator now covers the Discretionary Support Schemes offered by Local Authorities across the UK. The coverage includes potential eligibility and direct links to the application forms for the following Discretionary Support Schemes:
- Discretionary Housing Payment;
- Household Support Fund;
- Council Tax Discretionary Relief Scheme;
- Local Welfare Assistance;
- Scottish Welfare fund; and
- Discretionary Assistance Fund.
Our benefits calculator already covers over 80 benefits, grants, and social tariffs; by adding Discretionary Support Schemes, we will ensure that we address the needs of households that are not eligible for national benefits or are facing financial hardship. This increase in coverage will be especially useful for our partners working in the Debt Advice sector, as Discretionary Support Schemes are particularly well-suited for people who are facing financial hardship.
Local Authorities: How to get involved
Local Authorities will be able to increase awareness of their Discretionary Support Schemes through our network of nearly 70 partners that use our benefits calculator as part of their customer journeys.
We also invite Local Authorities to use our free white-label benefits calculator on their websites to help their residents find the benefits for which they are eligible. We offer the widest benefits coverage available in the market, including benefits, social tariffs, and local discretionary grants. Our benefits calculator is already trusted by leading organisations such as Money Helper, Wagestream, and NatWest.
For the Local Authorities that use our white-label calculator, we can add additional discretionary benefits or local services they would like to include in the calculator, e.g., community services and activities as well as local providers of white goods and food banks. We have already onboarded Barnet Council and Barking and Dagenham, and continue to onboard councils one at a time.
Get in touch with us to be the next one!