Additional Restrictions Grant: Sandwell Taxi Scheme FAQs
What is the ARG Sandwell Taxi Scheme?
This is a grant scheme to support self-employed taxi drivers within Sandwell. As a contribution to continued fixed costs, Sandwell Council is making a one-off payment of £1,000 available to self-employed licensed taxi and private hire drivers, subject to certain conditions.
Am I eligible for ARG Sandwell Taxi Scheme?
The scheme is for self-employed taxi and private hire drivers who live in the borough of Sandwell regardless of which council they are licensed with.
To be eligible for the grant, drivers must be self-employed, live in the Sandwell borough and have been licensed on or before 24 May 2021 (which was the date that this policy was authorised).
How much will the grant be?
It is a one-off payment of £1,000 for eligible applicants.
What if I’ve lost more than £1,000 of income?
The grant is a contribution toward the fixed costs that the taxi driver or private hire driver has faced over recent months, given the fact that a long period of Covid-19 restrictions may have had a detrimental effect on an individual’s income. An ARG grant is not intended to subsidise wages. The ARG taxi scheme is a fixed value grant.
Is the grant subject to tax?
Yes, the government has confirmed that all payments under the scheme are taxable.
When do I need to apply?
As soon as possible. The first grant window is open between Sunday 7 June and Sunday 4 July 2021. Another round will only open if there is any remaining budget. Sandwell Council also reserves the right to close or vary the terms of the scheme at any time, without notice, should it be necessary to do so.
Why must an application be complete before being submitted?
The grants team can only approve a grant which meets the criteria on the grant application – this requires uploaded evidence to demonstrate that the applicant is eligible. If any answers are not completed, or if any of the required evidence documents are not uploaded, then an application will be refused.
How do I apply?
You can make an application via the online Grant Approval portal at www.grantapproval.co.uk.
Can I reapply if my grant is refused or declined?
Yes, you can reapply if your grant is refused. The reason will be provided by email as to why your application was unsuccessful. However, you will lose your original place in the queue, so it makes sense to ensure your application is complete before submitting it. If your application was refused because you do not meet the criteria there is no purpose in re-applying unless you made a mistake on the original form.
I have a Sandwell licence but do not live in the borough of Sandwell – can I apply?
This scheme is for taxi drivers who reside in Sandwell. If you apply and can’t provide evidence you live in Sandwell your application will be refused.
What evidence will I need to have ready?
You will need a minimum of three of the following documents in an electronic format ready to be uploaded to the portal. Photographs and screenshots of original documents are acceptable as supporting evidence as long as they are clear. So you may upload electronic images if need be.
Please upload all of the following:
- Proof of Licence: Hackney Carriage License, Dual License or Private Hire License or Taxi ID Badge Number. Your issuing council must be clearly shown.
- Proof of Residency: either a council tax statement showing your Sandwell Council Tax liability at your address, or a utility bill, or your resident home address visibly shown on your paper or photocard driving licence (DVLA).
- Proof of matching bank account: provide your latest bank statement showing that the claimant is the named holder of the bank account. This would normally be a PDF format statement if possible. Please ensure that the name, address, sort code and account number are shown clearly and match the bank details that you enter on the application portal.
Do I have to apply online?
Yes. All applications must be made via the self-serve online portal.
How long will it take for me to get the grant payment?
Sandwell Council is working hard to process applications as quickly as possible. In order for this to happen efficiently please do not chase your application through the council but instead log in to Grant Approval and check your status there. If Sandwell Council needs any further information to support your application, an officer will contact you via the portal.
What happens if I have applied but entered my bank details incorrectly?
For your own financial protection, Sandwell Council is unable to amend your bank details. If you have manually entered your bank details incorrectly you will need to complete a new application. If you have several bank accounts, (for example, personal and business) council officers can only advise you of the details you submitted for the application’s Sort Code and A/C number. However, you can resubmit a matching statement clearly showing your address and name.
Can the council claim back the money?
As an applicant you must provide true, accurate information when applying for the grant. If it is established that any award has been made incorrectly due to error, misrepresentation or incorrect information provided to the council by an applicant or their representative(s) the council reserves the right to recover any grant paid in full. Fraudulent activity will also lead to prosecution.
This matter is mentioned frequently throughout the grant application process, and you must sign to state that you understand this when applying for a grant.
I am struggling with completing my application. Where can I go for further help?
Due to current high volumes of enquiries, and to ensure Sandwell Council can process applications as quickly as possible, please contact the council via the method provided on our grant approval system. You can message the ARG Grant team directly via the portal. This will be the most direct way of communicating, and the people replying to your email will be the team working directly on the grants.
I messaged three days ago about my grant and haven’t received a reply yet!
Please be aware that Sandwell Council receives a high volume of applications and thousands of grant enquiries. The team will always attempt to get back to you as soon as possible and thanks you for your patience.
If I am not happy with a decision can I appeal?
There is no appeals process for this scheme. Sandwell Council’s formal Complaints Procedure will be applied in the event of any complaint received about this scheme.
Return to our coronavirus resources page on grants, relief and finance.