Grants and Other Sources of Financial Help

This is a list of some of the sources of funding to help in emergencies or with equipment and household items, from both government and charitable organisations.

Budgeting loans

Budgeting Loans can help pay for essential items like rent, furniture, household equipment or clothing. The money has to be paid back but it is interest-free. The smallest amount you can borrow is £100 and you normally have to repay the loan within 104 weeks. You can apply for a loan if you’ve been getting income-related benefits for at least 26 weeks, such as:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit

How much you will get will depend on your circumstances and your ability to pay back the loan. Budgeting loans do not affect other benefits.

How to apply

Before you apply for a Budgeting Loan check whether you can apply for Local Emergency Support (see below), a Sure Start Maternity Grant or a Funeral Payment, which do not have to be paid back. Visit your local JobCentre Plus or download a copy of the SF 500 form to apply for a loan.

Changes to Budgeting Loans

Budgeting loans will be replaced by Budgeting Advances if you are claiming Universal Credit. They will continue to be available to those claiming the old benefits until all remaining claimants have moved to Universal Credit.

Local Emergency Support

Crisis loans and community care grants were abolished in April 2013 and replaced by welfare assistance programmes run by top tier local authorities. In Buckinghamshire this is administered by the Buckinghamshire Council and is called Local Emergency Support. You can apply for assistance if you:

  • have a serious emergency or crisis where failure to give LES will mean there is a significant risk of harm coming to them or their family
  • require help moving into, or staying in, the community and that providing help will eliminate the need for statutory care

Rather than financial grants Buckinghamshire Council aims to meet the needs of claimants through practical support, for example, by making:

  • direct referrals to suppliers to provide services or quality, second-hand goods
  • direct payments to utility companies to apply gas or electricity credit to the customer’s account

If you need support and think you may be eligible call the Local Emergency Support claims number 0845 505 1121. More details about eligibility are available via Buckinghamshire Council’s website

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Benefit was replaced in April 2013 by Council Tax Reduction (CTR) which is run by the district councils in Buckinghamshire (see links below). You may be entitled to some help with paying your council tax if you’re on a low income or unemployed, and have less than £6000 in savings (£16,000 if you are a pensioner).

People of pension credit qualifying age who were eligible for Council Tax Benefit (because they have a low income and savings under £16,000 or they receive the Guarantee part of Pension Credit) will not be affected by these changes. Each District Council run its own CTR scheme – click on the link relevant to where you live in Buckinghamshire.

  • SSAFA – SSAFA Forces Help is one of the UK’s leading Armed Forces charities providing practical, financial and emotional support to anyone who is currently serving or has served in the Army, Navy or RAF, and their families, including dependents, widows and widowers of those who have served.
  • Elizabeth Finn Care – Elizabeth Finn Care is a national charity that gives direct financial support to individuals in need. The charity gives money to help people who have less than £4,000 in savings and, lacking enough household income, manage a bare hand-to-mouth existence. They help people whose former careers have been interrupted or ended through circumstances beyond their control: physical or mental illness, redundancy, family breakdown, or those struggling on low income in retirement.  Their client group primarily consists of people who have formerly held occupations requiring a degree of responsibility and education.
  • Buttle Trust
  • Family Fund
  • Family Holiday Association – The Family Holiday Association is a charity that provides short breaks in the UK for children and their families. These are families that face daily hardship made worse by the likes of illness, bereavement or disability. We offer those families in difficult circumstances a much needed break.
  • Stoke Poges Charity – Stoke Poges United Charity was set up to help local people suffering hardship or distress. It has given grants for items such as cookers, fridges, stair chairlift, rising chair, assistance with college fees and student travel. Help is restricted to people living in what was the ancient parish of Stoke Poges which includes parts of Slough adjoining the village north of the A4, east of Farnham Road and west of Uxbridge Road.
  • Mulberry Trust
  • Hickman Trust – For people resident in Aylesbury who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress. Contact 01296 318500
  • Bledlow Charity
  • Carers Bucks’ bursary fund

Are you caring for someone?

Do you look after someone who cannot manage without you because they are ill, frail or have a disability? 

If so, you are a carer and Carers Bucks can help you.