Welcome to The Sprout! Please sign up or login

Information » Money » Benefits » Social Fund

Social Fund

The social fund, community care grants and crisis loans were scrapped as of 1st April 2013.

You can contact the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) or your Jobcentre Plus to find out what help you can now get. For example:

‘Budgeting Loans’ will continue to be offered by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Crisis loans and community care grants have not been directly replaced anywhere in Britain, but in Wales, you can get the ‘Discretionary Assistance Fund’ from your local council for help in emergencies.

From 1st April 2013, if you are in financial difficulty because your benefit payments are delayed or there is a technical problem, you can apply to the Department for Work and Pensions for a ‘Short Term Advance’.

Budgeting Loans

You could get 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.

As this is a loan, you do have to pay it back.

Budgeting Loans are interest-free, so you only pay back what you borrow. You normally have to repay the loan within 104 weeks.

You can apply for a loan if you or your spouse/partner have been getting income-related benefits for at least 26 weeks.

How much you will get depends on whether or not you’re single, how many children you have, your ability to pay back the loan and how much savings you have.

How to claim: Print off and fill in claim form SF500 and send or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus. You can also get the form from your local Jobcentre Plus.

If you have any questions about your claim, contact your local Jobcentre Plus.

The Discretionary Assistance Fund in Wales

The Discretionary Assistance Fund offers payments, or in kind support*, to people needing urgent assistance (help) and where there is an identified need to protect health and well-being.

Payments will be made available to people who have no other ways of meeting the immediate cost of living. They are not meant to meet the cost of ongoing expenses.

*You may be given money or in kind support, like food vouchers or household items, such as washing machines, if yours breaks. These are known as ‘cashless grants’ and do not have to be paid back.

Within the scheme there are two types of grant support:

  • Emergency Assistance Payments (EAP) - assistance in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to health or wellbeing. Anyone over the age of 16 can claim for these payments if they need help to meet expenses due to an emergency or because of a disaster
  • Individual Assistance Payments - to meet an urgent identified need that enables or supports vulnerable people to establish themselves or remain living independently in the community. To be eligible, applicants must be: allowed to claim and be in receipt of income-related welfare benefits; or, if they are due to leave an institution or care home within 6 weeks, they must be likely to be allowed to receive income-related welfare benefits on leaving

You may be able to get EAP if you:

  • Are aged 16 or over
  • Don’t have any money to meet you (or your family’s) immediate needs after an emergency or a disaster
  • Think there will be serious damage or risk to your (or your family’s) health and safety without the EAP grant
  • Don’t have any other means of getting the help you need as you have no other money or means of getting money

How to apply:

  • Telephone - call 0800 859 5924 for free from a landline or 03301 015 000, which is charged a local rate
  • Complete the online application form by clicking here
  • Click here to download a postal application form, which should be sent to: Discretionary Assistance Fund, PO Box 2377, WREXHAM, LL11 0LG

The official info source for the Discretionary Assistance Fund in Wales is but you cannot apply here.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post comments on this website.

Login or Register.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. It will help us find out how you use the website so we can keep improving it for you. Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50.