A Crisis Loan is money that is made available by the government to help to alleviate an unforeseen financial disaster or emergency that you are unable to cope with your self.
What is a Crisis Loan?:
A crisis loan is an interest free lump sum payment form the Government that is administered bye the Department of Work and Pensions in the UK
Who can Apply?:
In theory anyone can apply for a crisis loan, however they are aimed at those who are unemployed and who are claiming state benefits like Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance.
How do I apply?:
You can apply in one of two ways; you can either request and complete a paper application for ( SF401) and return this to your local Social Fund processing center via the Job Centre or you can call the free national telephone number 08000 327952.
How long does it take for a decision?:
A paper application can take anywhere up to two working weeks and is generally for larger amounts for example rent in advance, a telephone application should take around 45 minutes.
When do I get paid?:
If you have sent in a paper application and have been awarded a crisis loan then you should expect to see your payment within 15 days, if you made an application over the phone then you payment could be with you in 3-4 hours from the call.
How much can I apply for?;
The maximum amount that any one household can apply for is £1500.00 at any time, although awards are generally smaller than this.
When do I have to pay it back?:
The period that you repay your loan over depends on your income, but is generally tailored to complete within 104 weeks.
What if I am turned down?:
If your application is refused you can apply for a review, this is when a separate decision maker looks at your application and makes a second decision. If the reviewing officer turns your down, you can then ask for your application to be looked at for a 3rd time by an independent body ( the independent review service)