Suffolk Local Welfare Assistance Scheme

The Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS) helps those experiencing financial hardship.

What is it?

There are lots of reasons why you may be in hardship and if you are eligible, we can provide financial help, and our trusted partners can provide guidance and advice. The scheme is not intended as emergency aid and only one application can be made per household. Successful applications will receive a BACS payment directly into a bank account or a Post Office cash out voucher.

Who can apply?

To receive help from LWAS you must:

  • Be able to demonstrate you are in financial hardship
  • Live in Suffolk
  • Be 16-years old or over
  • Not be subject to immigration control or have no recourse to public funds
  • Have a combined household income of £25,000 a year or less?
  • Have less than £500 available in any current and/or savings accounts across the household
  • Have not made an application in the previous 6 months

We will look at your income and savings. If you have adequate savings to meet your basic living needs, your application will be declined.

Before you apply

Before you apply you will need all the information listed below to hand, for you and members of your household. There is not an option to save your application and return later so to save time please have the following ready. You will not be able to submit your application without the following information:

  1. Your national insurance number. We cannot process an application without it. If you have lost it, please visit Find a lost National Insurance number | GOV. If you do not have a national insurance number please apply for one online
  2. The latest bank statements/savings accounts for all people in the household
  3. Proof of address which can be one of the following:
  • Council tax or utility bill dated within the last 12 months
  • Current UK driving license
  • Benefit, pension, hospital or GP letter

We will use the information you provide to check your details using council and central government systems to check your identity and eligibility for Local Welfare Assistance.

How long does it take to make and process an application?

The scheme is not intended as emergency support and only one application can be made per household. LWAS is not intended as long-term support.

The quickest way to make an application is via the webform, using your smartphone, tablet or computer. If you have all the information required to make an application the webform will take 15 minutes to complete.

Before you apply you will need all the information listed above to hand, for you and members of your household. There is not an option to save your application and return to it later. You will not be able to submit your application without this information.

If you need help uploading evidence, please visit Prepare your documents | Suffolk County Council.

Once your application has been submitted our team will review your application which can take up to 14 working days. Your application will be reviewed by a member of our team who will assess your application. Please provide the correct contact information as our team may need to contact you if they have any queries about your application.

If you are contacted by the LWAS team to provide further information you must provide this within 7 working days otherwise your application will be declined and you will need to re-apply.

If your application is approved, payments can take up to 10 working days to clear in your bank account. The LWAS team receive high numbers of applications and will not be able to respond to any enquires during the application assessment period.

How to apply

The quickest way to make an application is using the webform via your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Make an application

If you need help uploading evidence, please visit Prepare your documents | Suffolk County Council.

You can also contact one of our partner organisations who will be able to help you complete the application.

If you need advice completing your online application, please contact the customer services team 0345 606 6067 who will be able to help you. The telephone lines may be very busy so please call back for help with your application at another time.

You will still need to submit copies of the information we require to assess your application.

What happens after I have made an application?

After you have made an application you will be sent an email to confirm your application has been submitted.

What happens if my application is not successful? 

If your application is not successful please visit Suffolk InfoLink for more information about help and support available in Suffolk.