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What help is available for urgent or one-off expenses?

You may get help if you face an urgent or one-off expense that you're unable to meet. Find out the different types of financial support that is available for people on a low income or without money.

Funeral Payments

Funeral Payments can help towards burial or cremation costs and up to £700 for other expenses, such as the funeral director’s fees. Get more information about paying for a funeral. You can apply for a funeral payment by calling the Bereavement Service helpline or filling in the claim form. Find out more about how to apply for a funeral payment and to download the form.

Budgeting Loans

Budgeting Loans of between £100 and £348 (if you're single) or £464 (if you're part of a couple) may be available if you’re receiving Pension Credit and you need to pay for an essential item such as furniture, clothing and footwear, removal costs and maintenance measures. The loans are interest-free but must be re-paid out of your weekly benefits. To apply you'll need to download the claim form or go to your local Jobcentre Plus.

Budgeting Advances

Budgeting Advances will eventually replace Budgeting Loans for Universal Credit claimants. Like Budgeting Loans, they are interest-free loans to cover emergency and unforeseen expenses.

Short Term Advances

Short Term Advances can help to tide you over between making a new benefit claim and receiving the benefit. You'll usually have to repay the money out of your weekly benefits. Find out more about short term advances and how to apply.

Assistance from your local council

Assistance from your local council may be available if you’ve faced an emergency or a disaster, such as a fire or flood, or you have essential expenses to cover, such as furniture, fuel connection, removal costs and urgent travel expenses. The help may not necessarily be financial, and the schemes vary from one area to another.

For more information, including who is eligible and how to apply, download our factsheet.

The Social Fund, Advances of Benefit and Local Welfare Provision factsheet (PDF 431 KB)

Charities and benevolent funds

Charities and benevolent funds may be able to help you if you’re unable to get support from elsewhere. Grants from charities can range from small amounts for food vouchers to large amounts for buying domestic goods, such as a washing machine or cooker.

Others may provide help towards the cost of a wheelchair or housing adaptations. Some may target particular groups, and others will consider helping anyone.

For more information, contact Charity Search or Turn2us. You could also visit your local library and refer to The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need.

Can you claim more benefits?

Each year up to £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit goes unclaimed by older people. See what you're owed - quickly and easily - with our benefits calculator.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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