Crisis Loans came to an end in March 2013. Local councils are now responsible for helping anybody who has been hit by severe financial hardship.
The support you will receive from these Discretionary Funds will depend on your own personal circumstances and also the individual Council’s guidelines and procedures.
Short-term payments from Jobcentre Plus
A hardship payment is a reduced amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance which you may be able to claim if you have been refused Jobseeker’s Allowance, or your benefit has been stopped, because of doubts about whether you are available for and actively seeking work. You may also be eligible for a hardship payment if:-
- You are waiting for the Jobcentre Plus office to decide whether you meet the job seeking conditions
- You have been sanctioned
- Your Jobseeker’s Allowance has been stopped for a fixed period following a benefit fraud offence
If you require more information about hardship payments and how to apply for them, you should ask at your local Jobcentre Plus office for a JSA 10 Form – ‘Jobseekers allowance hardship application’
Short Term Advances
If you are waiting for a benefit claim to be processed but you need the money right away, you may be able to get a short term advancement from the Jobcentre Plus office. You should:-
- Speak to your JSA advisor
- These advancements are available all over the UK
- You will have to prove that you are in desperate need – e.g proof of no savings
You may be able to apply for a budgeting loan to help pay for essential things like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts. The smallest amount you can borrow is £100.
Budgeting loans are interest free so you only have to pay back what you borrow. You will normally have to repay the loan within 104 weeks.
You would be eligible to apply for a loan if you have been in receipt of an income-related benefit for at least 26 weeks. This will include:-
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
You must still be getting one of these benefits when your application is assessed.
How to apply
Download the SF500 Budgeting Loan Form of request one at your local Jobcentre Plus and return the form to your local Jobcentre Plus
What if you are refused
If you have been refused a budgeting loan you can ask Jobcentre Plus to review their decision within 28 days. You must do this in writing to your local Jobcentre Plus office, explaining why you think their decision was wrong. Once the case has been reviewed, you will be contacted.
If this review is unsuccessful, you can ask for a further review by the office of the Independent Case Examiner. This review should take no longer than 21 working days.
For further information regarding any of the above loans, please visit the Crisis Loans Guidance issued by Gov.UK. Alternatively contact Jobcentre Plus on 0345 603 6967