Local Welfare Assistance (LWA)

Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) is a discretionary support scheme.

The primary objectives of this scheme are to help:

  • people in short-term need because of a crisis or emergency 
  • support vulnerable people in the community 
  • ease exceptional pressure on families

LWA payments are made to help people who do not have an alternative means of paying for what they need. The payments are intended to meet one-off needs rather than on-going expenses.

There are two types of Local Welfare Assistance payments: crisis payments and community payments.

Crisis payments are awarded to cover short-term needs which prevent serious risk to the health and safety of a person or their family. They can also help with certain expenses in other emergency or disaster situations (such as fires or floods), for example, by replacing essential household equipment.

Community payments are primarily intended to help vulnerable people live as independent a life as possible in the community. They are generally made to cover the cost of furniture and white goods, connection and removal costs, minor repairs in certain types of accommodation, specific travel costs and some clothing and footwear (not school uniforms).

Payment may be made using either pre-paid debit card, the provision of furniture or appliances, or such other means as may be appropriate to the award.  Pre-paid cards are restricted to ensure that they are only used for the items or services for which the award is made.

To make an application for Local Welfare Assistance please complete our online application or call 020 8937 5796.