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Flexible Support Fund

If you are receiving help from a jobcentre to find a job, help may be available to you from the Flexible Support Fund

Interview at a desk

The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is a fund offered by local jobcentres at the discretion of Jobcentre Plus advisers.

The aim of the fund is to help people claiming unemployment benefits to find a job.

Who is eligible for help from the Flexible Support Fund?

The FSF is discretionary and you do not have an automatic right to it if you qualify. It depends on your local Jobcentre Plus adviser.

It is available to anyone who receives help from the jobcentre and is claiming a qualifying benefit:

The FSF can also support anyone eligible for Work Preparation Support, such as lone parents, partners and carers.

Advisers may also be able to use the FSF to support other unemployed people they are working with in certain circumstances.

What help does it give?

The FSF aims to help with extra costs associated with finding a job, such as: 

  • Travel expenses to attend an interview

  • Tools and clothing/uniforms to start work

If you are claiming Universal Credit, you may also be able to get help with the first month of childcare costs from the FSF. See Help with Childcare Costs when Starting Work or Looking for Work.

There is no set amount of money you can be given.  It depends on your situation, circumstances and needs.

The FSF is unlikely to fund anything you have already paid for.

Do I have to pay it back?

No. It is a grant not a loan.

How do I apply for help from the Flexible Support Fund?

Ask your local Jobcentre Plus adviser how you apply.

You will need to tell them what you need the money for and give evidence that you cannot pay for the items yourself.

Date of publication: November 2019