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Benefits and Grants update June 2015

Find out the latest news about benefits, grants and related subjects.

Turn2us Benefits Changes Timetable

Benefits

Universal Credit expansion

From 15 June Universal Credit is available at Jobcentres in Blaydon, Gateshead, Felling, Bodmin, Truro and Penzance. Click on the link below for further details of when other areas are due to 'go live'.

For more information, see the Gov.UK website information on the national expansion of Universal Credit

Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) - which provides money to help people with disabilities live an independent life in the community - is to close on 30 June 2015 (it has been closed to new applicants since 2010).

Funding will be incorporated into local social care arrangements through local councils in England and the devolved governments in Wales and Scotland will make their own arrangements.

People who already have ILF care packages will have to transfer to new local arrangements.

Scottish Independent Living Fund

In light of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) closing (see above) the devolved government in Scotland has proposed a new Scottish Independent Living Fund (SILF) to support those in Scotland who are currently receiving help from the ILF as well as being open to new applicants.

The new scheme will be run by the third sector from July 2015. Anyone eligible for help will be referred to the fund via local authority social services.

Food poverty

With the Summer holidays around the corner, food charities are 'bracing themselves for what could be their busiest summer yet, according to an article published in The Independent this month. Rising childcare costs, low wages and welfare reforms - as well as the reliance on school meals during term time - are some of the factors that may mean more children risk going hungry this summer.

The Trussell Trust's Chief Executive, David McAuley, says: "We expect an increase in need, particularly towards the end of Summer as this is often when budgets are particularly stretched". The food bank charity is considering expanding its holiday lunch clubs to help meet the likely demand.

In addition, the Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search will be embedded within each of the 400+ Trussell Trust Foodbank websites from this summer.

Source: The Independent: Food charities braced for a busy summer with more children than ever going hungry

Turn2us resources

For more information on food banks and other crisis support, see the Turn2us Emergency Help section.

If you or someone you know is bringing up a child and struggling, they can check their entitlement to benefits using our Benefits Calculator and their eligibility for help from a charitable fund with our Grants Search.

In the Your Situation section of our website, we have the following resources:

New Rights for Carers in England through the Care Act

Major changes to the care system for older people and younger adults with disabilities in England are starting to be introduced. This includes rights for people being cared for as well as carers.

For more information, see the Turn2us news item: New Rights for Carers in England