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Emergency Assistance - Local Welfare Assistance

Find out what help there is available in emergencies and urgent situations.

Local Welfare Assistance

Am I eligible?

If you are on a low income or receiving certain benefits, and there is a scheme in your area, you could apply for help from your council in emergencies.  

Most schemes allow you to apply if you are claiming one of these benefits:
•    Universal Credit
•    Pension Credit
•    Income Support
•    Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
•    Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

What can I get?

Local Welfare Assistance schemes are discretionary so you are not entitled to this help.  You may get help with essentials but you can’t usually get cash.

You could get vouchers to pay for food, fuel or clothing.  You could get bigger basic living items like beds, cookers and fridges. 

How do I apply?

England
Not all councils have a Local Welfare Assistance scheme.  You can find your council’s scheme by using the Children’s Society's map tool or the Child Poverty Action Group postcode search.

Northern Ireland
You can apply for a Discretionary Support loan or grant.  You can find out more about Discretionary Support on the NI direct website page about Finance Support.  

Scotland
You can apply for a Community Care Grant or a Crisis Grant from your local council.  The money comes from the Scottish Welfare Fund, which you can read about in our Scottish Welfare Fund guide.

Wales
You can apply for an Individual Assistance Payment or an Emergency Assistance Payment.  The money comes from the Discretionary Assistance Fund, which you can read about in our Discretionary Assistance Fund guide


Last updated: October 2016
 

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