Local Assistance Scheme Customer Consultation

Closed 5 Dec 2016

Opened 7 Nov 2016


The Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) started on 1st April 2013 as part of Sheffield City Council’s response to the 2012 Welfare Reform Act. LAS offers Loans following emergency or disaster events and Grants to help people either remain in or return to the community. Customers must be over 16 years old, receive a qualifying benefit and live in Sheffield in order to be considered under LAS.

Local Assistance Loans can be awarded after an emergency (e.g. lost or stolen money) or disaster (e.g. fire, flood). Customers can be awarded up to 2 Loans within 12 months. They have to be paid back. Loans are issued through Sheffield Credit Union, who also arrange and manage repayments. Loan awards have been primarily for Food & Housekeeping and Pre-pay meters costs.

Local Assistance Grants can be awarded under these criteria:

  • Returning to the community from care
  • Preventing a move into care
  • Following a resettlement programme after an unsettled way of living
  • Families experiencing exceptional pressures
  • Looking after someone on temporary release from prison

We can also award for help with Travel under these criteria:

  • To ease domestic crisis
  • To visit separated children pending a court decision
  • To move to suitable accommodation
  • To visit a sick relative or friend
  • To attend a relative's funeral

Customers can be awarded 1 Grant within 12 months. They do not have to be paid back. Grants are issued by BACS transfer and have been primarily awarded for Household items e.g. beds, ovens, carpets.

LAS is a discretionary fund and there is no right to review. If customers are unhappy with the outcome of their application, they can challenge the decision through the Council’s Corporate Complaints procedure.

Why your views matter

  • To ensure that the Council has the most efficient delivery model in place
  • To consider if there are opportunities to improve outcomes by changing the policy and service offer 
  • To recommend changes to achieve value for money, a fair policy and improved outcomes for financially excluded customers

The key areas that the review is looking at in terms of change options are:

  • Eligibility Criteria – Who we can help
  • Service Delivery – What help we can offer
  • Award Fulfilment and Review – How we can provide this


  • All Areas


  • Black and Minority Ethnic People
  • Carers
  • Disabled People
  • General Public
  • LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans People
  • Older People
  • Residents
  • Young People
  • Businesses
  • Community Groups
  • Faith Groups
  • Student Unions
  • Voluntary Organisations


  • Benefits Updates and Advice
  • Money Advice