Local assistance scheme

Norfolk County Council established a local scheme in April 2013 with the help of money from central government to help some of its most vulnerable residents.

How the Norfolk scheme works

When you apply for the scheme you will be asked a set of questions to check you are eligible. You will be prioritised if you meet the following criteria:

  • Norfolk resident, aged over 16
  • Receive an income related benefit
  • Have dependent children
  • Have a disability or mental health problem
  • Fleeing domestic violence
  • Need help to remain in the community
  • Are part of a planned resettlement scheme

If successful, you will be assessed to discover whether an award is due, how much and what form it will take. If you are not eligible you will be signposted to alternative sources of local help.

You will usually only be able to receive one award in any twelve month period.

Urgent help with food

If you have an urgent need for food you may be able to use a local foodbank, but may need to get a foodbank voucher from a voucher distributor first.

There are a growing network of foodbanks across Norfolk, and you can visit the Trussell Trust website for more information about them.

Help with gas and electricity costs

The scheme may be able to help with fuel costs during the winter months (between October and March).

If you are behind with payments of your gas or electricity bills, contact your fuel supplier straight away.

Get help if you are on a pre-payment meter

Apply for the local assistance scheme

Apply online for the local assistance scheme.

You can also apply by telephone by calling 0344 800 8025 or you can make an assisted application through a network of ‘approved partners’.

Your local Citizens Advice can help you to find an ’approved partner’ who can help you apply to the scheme, or can provide help and advice themselves. Find your local Citizens Advice

Applications cannot be made in person at any Norfolk County Council offices.

How are awards made?

The majority of awards are made in the form of vouchers for household goods or pre-paid cards which can be used at a range of retailers with good coverage across the county.

In exceptional circumstances cash payments can be made straight into an applicant’s bank account through BACS or by using the PayPoint network.

Is this scheme the same in all our neighbouring authorities?

Our scheme is only available for people resident in Norfolk or who are coming to live in Norfolk.

People who live in neighbouring counties or their advocates will need to contact their local county council for information about available assistance.