Are you facing short-term financial problems and receiving any kind of income support? Then you may qualify for a non-repayable Community Care Grant.

Do I qualify for a Community Care Grant?

You may qualify if you’re in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, a Pension Credit or payments connected with one of these. You may also qualify if you will receive one of these benefits during the next six weeks and are leaving care.

You may qualify if you are moving out of residential or institutional care in order to live independently, or a voluntary organisation or local council is moving you to a new residence.

You may also get one to enable you to remain at home instead of moving into hospital or residential care.

You may qualify if caring for someone ill, disabled or released from jail on temporary licence.

You can claim for temporary circumstances that impact upon your dignity or which cause stress, such as family breakdown, particularly if a relative has a long-term ailment.

Financial help may be available to attend a family member’s funeral or for visiting a seriously ill person.

What can I not get a Community Care Grant for?

Such grants cannot be used to fund long-term financial strategies, such as investing; or for work-related costs, such as fuel expenses (except in certain particular circumstances).

You can’t use them to pay for a phone or its call charges.

A grant will not be given to cover training or education, school meals, uniforms, sports clothes/equipment or school travel costs.

Requests that clash with other government activities are also excluded. Therefore you can’t use it to clear debts to another government department. You also can’t claim it to fund court appearances or other legal proceedings.

If you need money to repair a property rented from a local authority/housing association, or to fund removal of goods or for storage when your local authority is prepared to help you with those tasks, your application will fail. Domestic help is likewise excluded.

The majority of housing costs and Council Tax are not covered.

Your request will almost certainly be turned down if your need applies outside the UK.

A claim for expenses below £30 will probably fail unless requested for daily living expenses or travel. Food and groceries will qualify as daily expenses only if you’re caring for a young offender or prisoner released under temporary licence. It’s unusual to be granted a payment if you’ve already requested that the same services or goods be funded within the last 28 days.

How much will I get as a Community Care Grant?

That depends upon your circumstances. If you and your partner are not yet 60, with more than £500 in savings (£1,000 if either of you is over 60), the amount may be reduced.

The grant will not affect any benefits you receive.

How are Community Care Grants paid?

Directly into your bank account.

How do I apply for a Community Care Grant?

Fill out an SF300 form which you can download online or get from a Jobcentre Plus. If you’re in residential or institutional care, you are able to submit an application up to six weeks before your expected leaving date but remember that this form cannot be used by those in Northern Ireland.

What if I disagree with a decision for a Community Care Grant? Can I appeal?

If you are unhappy with a decision, you can ask for it to be reviewed, by writing to Jobcentre Plus.

If you’re still not satisfied, you can ask that a Social Fund Inspector reviews the decision. This review will normally take less than 12 days.