social fund

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A fund established under the Social Security Act 1986 to meet special needs of individuals who are entitled to benefit from it (e.g. by cold-weather payments). It is under the control of the Social Fund Commissioner, who appoints social fund officers to administer it and reports to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (formerly Social Security). Cold-weather payments are paid (to those entitled) for any consecutive seven-day period when the temperature averages 0° C or below. Other benefits from the social fund include interest-free budgeting loans and crisis loans, maternity and funeral payments, and community-care grants. Loans are repayable by deductions from social security benefits received by the loan recipients or their partners.

Subjects: Law.

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