Local Welfare Support Scheme

Apply for support if you are experiencing an emergency or crisis.

Our Local Welfare Support Scheme (LWSS) can provide support with:

  • food and fuel costs
  • the purchase of essential appliances and furniture
  • the purchase of carpets
  • removal costs for people fleeing violence or the threat of violence


To be eligible, you or your partner if you have one, must not have received a previous Local Welfare Support award in the last 12 months.

You may be eligible for support if you:

  • are a Leeds resident
  • are aged 16 years or over
  • have insufficient funds available for the support you require
  • are entitled to, or applying for, one or more of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Job Seekers Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Guaranteed Pension Credit
    • Council Tax Support
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit

You must also be able to demonstrate that you meet one of the following crisis definitions:

  • suffered a sudden loss of income due to a theft, benefits sanction, relationship breakdown, bereavement or another reason out of your control
  • recently diagnosed with an illness incurring additional expense and waiting for the outcome of a claim for Personal Independence Payments or another health-related benefit
  • a recent victim of a flood, fire or theft
  • fleeing violence or the threat of violence
  • moving from supported or emergency accommodation (as defined in the Housing Benefit regulations) into a property where you no longer receive support. For this particular situation, if you have received a previous food or energy award in the last 12 months, you can still apply for support
Supported or emergency accommodation definition

Supported housing is accommodation provided by a registered charity, housing association or voluntary organisation where the tenant receives more than minimal care, support or supervision to help them meet their needs.              

Supported accommodation also includes domestic violence refuges and Local Authority hostels (this does not include care homes).              

Emergency accommodation is temporary housing given to an individual or family by Leeds Housing Options. The individual or family should have been assessed as homeless and qualifying for help under the council's legal responsibility.              


You will not be eligible for food or fuel support if you or your partner have £150 or more available to you.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for support.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, other help and support is available in Leeds.

Apply for support

You can apply for yourself, or on behalf of somebody else, with their consent.

Information you will need to apply

Please make sure you have the following information ready for the person being referred, before you apply.

Personal details

You will be asked for your:                       

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • contact number
  • current full address including postcode
  • National Insurance number

    Find this number on your:                                     

    • National Insurance card
    • payslip
    • benefit letter
    • P60 or P45

    For example QQ 12 34 56 D.                                


If you are applying on behalf of someone else, we will need contact details for:                       

  • the person being referred
  • you or your organisation's details

Supporting information

We will also ask for details of:                       

  • other members of your household (children under 18 and adults 18 and over)
  • income received
  • any savings
  • why help is needed

Bank statement

You will be asked to provide recent bank statements for any accounts held by you and your partner if you have one.                       

The bank statements must include your most recent balance and transactions from the last month and must show your full name.                       

Digital copies, including photos taken with your phone are acceptable.                     

Apply now using our online form.

Apply for the Local Welfare Support SchemeExternal link
If you cannot use our form, help is available

If you cannot use our form, please call us on 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330 (weekdays, 9am to 4pm except Wednesdays when we're open from 10am) and an officer will complete the online form on your behalf over the phone.      


What happens next

A member of our team will verify the details you have given, and ask for more information if required.

You must provide a bank statement as soon as possible when requested, or your decision may be delayed and your application could be cancelled.

If you have stated you are in receipt of a benefit, we will check with the Department for Works and Pensions to verify this.

We will aim to process your application within 4 working days and will send your decision via text or phone.

Application decision

If you are unhappy with your decision, and think the scheme criteria have not been applied correctly, you can ask for a review to be carried out.

Information on how to request a review

Please provide the reason why you think that the eligibility criteria have not been applied correctly:      

  • phone 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330 (weekdays, 9am to 4pm except Wednesdays when we're open from 10am)
  • email: LWSS@leeds.gov.uk

We will aim to respond to your review request within 3 working days.

Other help and support

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria or have found out that you do not qualify for the scheme, other help and support is available in Leeds.

You can access free, confidential and impartial help and advice on a range of money related matters such as:

  • emergency food
  • energy and utilities
  • debt and money advice
  • benefits advice

Use this form to give us your comments. Do not use it to give us personal information - please contact us if you need to get in touch.