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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Crisis Loans

If you need financial help with an emergency or disaster you may be able to get a Crisis Loan. You will have to pay a Crisis Loan back, but you will not have to pay interest. Find out more, including how to apply.

Crisis Loan – who can apply

You can apply for a Crisis Loan if you:

  • are aged 16 or over
  • don't have enough money to meet your (or your family's) immediate short term needs in an emergency or as the result of a disaster
  • think there will be serious damage or risk to your (or your family's) health or safety without the loan

A Crisis Loan can help cover the following short term needs:

  • meeting daily living expenses
  • rent in advance
  • board/lodging charges
  • residential charges for a hostel
  • pre-paid meter fuel debt
  • travel expenses if you are stranded away from home

A Crisis Loan can also help if either of the following applies:

  • you have suffered a disaster like a fire or flood that has caused a lot of damage and you need help to meet other expenses like replacing household items and clothing
  • you have been awarded a Community Care Grant and you're moving out of institutional or residential accommodation and don't have enough money to pay advance rent to a non-local authority landlord

How much do you get?

There is no set amount for a Crisis Loan. The amount you may be able to borrow will depend on:

  • your individual circumstances
  • any savings you have
  • whether or not you have any outstanding loans from the Social Fund

How Crisis Loans are paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account. This is the safest, most convenient and efficient method of payment.

How do you repay it?

If you qualify for a Crisis Loan you'll need to agree how you are going to pay it back.

An adviser at the Jobcentre Plus office will talk to you and agree a repayment plan with you that you can afford. If you're on benefit, the loan is normally repaid out of your normal benefit payments.

You don't have to pay interest on a Crisis Loan, which means you only repay the amount you borrowed.

Effect on other benefits

A Crisis Loan does not count as income and will not affect other benefits you are getting.

How to apply

There are different ways to apply for a Crisis Loan depending on which type of loan you want.

Crisis Loans for Living Expenses and urgent Rent in Advance

To make a telephone application for day to day living expenses or urgent rent in advance contact Jobcentre Plus, phone: 0800 032 7952

If you have speech or hearing difficulties you can use the textphone number: 0800 032 7958.

Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. Lines are normally less busy before 9.00 am.

If you don’t want to apply for a Crisis Loan by telephone to cover living expenses, you can get an application form (SF401) instead. You can get this from your local Jobcentre Plus office or by downloading the form below.

All other Crisis Loan applications should be made in writing

All other Crisis Loan applications should be made in writing using one of the application forms below.

If you want to apply for a Crisis Loan for items and services in the event of a disaster you can download form SF300. This application form (SF300) can also be used if you are applying for a Community Care Grant.

If you want to apply for a Crisis Loan to cover rent in advance you can download the form (SF401R) below.

How to appeal

If you're unhappy with a Crisis Loan decision you have the right to ask for a review. To do this you must write to Jobcentre Plus within 28 days of the decision. You will need to:

  • explain why you think the decision was wrong
  • ask for it to be reviewed

If you're still unhappy with the outcome, you can ask for a further review by a Social Fund Inspector. The review process is quick and simple, and should take no longer than 12 days.

You can download the leaflet and claim form, 'How to ask for an independent review' from the Independent Review Service website.

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