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Norfolk Assistance Scheme

There are many people in our community who are vulnerable, and even more so during the coronavirus outbreak. Please be reassured that the Norfolk Assistance Scheme can help you get the ongoing support you need. 
Due to the coronavirus situation, a coordinated emergency relief response has been developed for Norfolk people in crisis.

Urgent help with food, cash or household items

The Norfolk Assistance Scheme can help by providing emergency cash or food due to the coronavirus situation.
The scheme can also help provide essential household items such as white goods and beds. Please note that during this time of self-isolation these items may be delivered over the threshold or on the doorstep – our advisors will discuss this with you. Please tell them in advance if you are unwell.

Urgent help with shopping, medication and other tasks 

If you have no one to assist you, the Norfolk Assistance Scheme will arrange a delivery of food and refer you to the Covid-19 Community Response Team, who will work alongside Adult Social Services to refer you to a voluntary organisation to help you with tasks like getting shopping, picking up prescription medication, and dog-walking.
Also, welfare check calls (by telephone or on the doorstep) can be requested.

Urgent help with gas and electricity costs

You may be able to get help with fuel costs through the Norfolk Assistance Scheme. Also contact your fuel supplier straight away if you’re behind with payments of your gas or electricity bills. See Citizens Advice for help if you’re on a pre-payment meter, have run out of credit and need gas or electricity urgently.

Am I eligible?

You must be a Norfolk resident aged 16 or over to apply for the Norfolk Assistance Scheme and you’ll be asked a set of questions to check if you’re eligible.
You may be eligible if you:
• Receive or have applied for an income-related benefit (including those who are self-employed or have recently been laid off work)
• Have ceased working and awaiting salary payment through the government scheme
• Have dependent children
• Have a disability or mental health problem
• Are fleeing domestic violence
• Need help to remain in the community
• Are part of a planned resettlement scheme (removals are suspended through NAS, but we can assess you for van hire/alternative removal companies)

How to apply

You can apply online for the Norfolk Assistance Scheme. We have provided some guidance to help you fill out the form.
However, requests for emergency cash or food due to the coronavirus situation should be made via phone on 01603 223392 (option 5) so that we can prioritise these. We may ask you to provide evidence to support your application such as bank statements, payslips, UC journal entries and any other evidence we think is necessary. Please be patient, as we are experiencing high call volumes. 

For all other help, please apply online if possible.

Apply for the scheme online 

You can save your application at any point and come back to it later. When you click on the save button it will take you to a page with a code and instructions on how to come back to your application. The code is valid for 5 days after which it will expire. If your code does expire, you will need to re-apply. Take a note of this code as without it you won't be able to reopen your application and will have to start again. 

Return to saved application

If you apply online and haven't been contacted after 10 days, contact your support worker or the Norfolk Assistance Scheme team on 01603 223392 (Option 5)

You can also make an assisted application through a network of approved partners. Unfortunately there is no way to apply in person at Norfolk County Council offices, as they are now closed to all enquiries due to the coronavirus crisis. 

What happens when I apply?

If you apply online you will receive a call back from an advisor, or if you call directly, the advisor will:
• Discuss benefit support (when your next payment is due, what actions have already been taken)
• Discuss your needs for the next week (pending your benefits payment)
• Suggest what support you can source from family and friends.
• Complete a Covid-19 Community Response Intervention form for help with shopping, getting prescription medication and other tasks.

You’ll be assessed to discover whether an award is due, how much you’ll get and what form it will take. If you’re not eligible, you’ll be directed to alternative sources of local help. 
See our Norfolk Assistance Scheme policy for more details about the scheme.

How will I receive the help if I am eligible?

The Norfolk Assistance Scheme Advisor will then establish any emergency relief not covered by the above and, for those who are eligible, do one or more of the following:

1) Assess you for a daily living payment

, which you receive in cash either via Paypoint or a BACS transfer to your bank account. If you are unwell/disabled/elderly and unable to go out, you can designate a trusted family member or friend who can receive this on your behalf to enable them to shop for you. We require an email address for this purpose – if you do not have one, speak to the NAS adviser when you make your call.

2) Order a food/essentials package for you (in line with the food bank offer) which can be accessed by:

- Click and collect’ that the applicant or a friend can collect from a supermarket.
- Supermarket online delivery
- A direct delivery of a food/essentials package arranged by the Norfolk Assistance Scheme only if supermarket delivery slots are unavailable and family or friends are unable to help

3) Organise delivery of essential household items such as white goods and beds

Contact

• For Norfolk Assistance Scheme queries, call 01603 223392 (option 5). Please be patient, as we are experiencing high call volumes.
• For all other Norfolk County Council enquiries, call 0344 800 8020.

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