Crisis Loan guide

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A Crisis Loan is an interest-free loan that is claimed from the government’s Social Fund. It is used in order to meet any urgent needs you may have and is awarded if you have no other way of raising the money. It is designed to provide assistance in the event of an emergency or disaster.

When can I claim a Crisis Loan?

There are no set rules for this. It is generally awarded for specified items or services or for short term, immediate living expenses, usually of a time period lasting no more than fourteen days.

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What factors are taken into account when I apply for a Crisis Loan?

Is it for an emergency, or the consequences of a disaster?

Is it the only means for preventing major damage or risk to the health and safety of either you or a member of your family?

Are you aged 16 or over?

Things to remember when you apply for a Crisis Loan?

You do not need to be in receipt of state benefits in order to be granted a Crisis Loan.

The danger or risk to you or your family does not need to be immediate, provided it is foreseeable.

The danger may be to both physical or mental health but it does not necessarily require that, if the loan is not given, medical intervention would be needed.

While you will only be given a Crisis Loan if you can demonstrate that you have no other way to raise the money, the alternatives for raising that money must be reasonable. For instance, you would not be expected to sell off your possessions or to commit a criminal act in order to raise the funds.

How much will I receive?

There is no fixed sum and there is no minimum amount that you may get. However, the maximum amount that may be loaned is calculated by taking into account the number of people there are in your family and their personal allowances for state benefits.

Provided that you need the money in order to purchase a specific item, you can expect to be awarded its full cost, provided the inspector has deemed this to be appropriate.

The amount you receive will depend upon your level of savings.

How much you can reasonably be expected to repay will also affect how much you are awarded.

You are not allowed to owe the Social Fund more than £1,500, so any previous outstanding loans you have from it may affect how much you are entitled to now.

Under certain circumstances, you may still qualify for a Community Care Grant.

How do I claim?

For claiming rent and other urgent living expenses in advance, you should telephone Jobcentre Plus, by using the freephone number 0800 0327952.

If you have difficulties with hearing or speech, free textphone number 0800 0327958 may be used. Alternatively, download this form.

Proof of identity will be needed, and any documentary evidence to support your claim.

If you need to buy items or services, due to an emergency, you can send in a written application, via this form, which is also the one you should use if you need to apply for a Community Care Grant.

How do I repay a Crisis Loan?

Your ability to repay is taken into account when the loan is awarded.

If you are in receipt of state benefits, your repayments will be deducted directly from them.

You will normally be expected to commit 5%-12% of your income to repayments, dependent upon your other commitments, and you will be asked to agree the payment terms prior to the money being handed over to you.

The usual repayment period is 104 weeks.

In the event that you have problems making the repayments, you can ask Jobcentre Plus to look at rescheduling them.

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