Somerset County Council

Help with basic household essentials


Local Assistance Scheme for Somerset
If you have an emergency that means you have no way of getting basic essentials, you may be able to get help from the Local Assistance Scheme.

What is covered?
The Local Assistance Scheme does not provide cash or loans, but it can help you to get basic essentials. For example:

  • Food for yourself and other members of your household.

  • Essential items of furniture and bedding.

  • Basic equipment for cooking and heating.

  • Fuel to cook with or to heat essential rooms.

  • Help to make an essential journey that was not expected.

How do I use it?
The scheme can be accessed through local branches of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) on behalf of Somerset County Council. If you think the scheme might be able to help you, you should contact your local advice bureau.

You will be asked to describe the things you need help with, how you have come to need help, and to provide some evidence that you live in Somerset.

When you visit the advice bureau you must bring proof of your identity, proof of your address, and proof of your income (benefits and other) before an award can be granted. You must also meet the following conditions:

  • That you are on a low income (normally means-tested benefits)
  • That you do not have enough money to buy what you need
  • That you have tried other sources of help first and these have not been able to help you. For example, a short term benefits advance, a budgeting loan, family or friends
  • That you apply to the advice bureau in the district of Somerset you live in

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