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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.

To apply for Funeral Payments, Budgeting Loans and Short Term Advances, contact your local Jobcentre Plus office. Speak to your local council or check their website to find out what other support is available.

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.

Budgeting Loans

Budgeting Loans of between £100 and £1,500 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.

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 within 3 months, out of your weekly benefits.

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)

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For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 6565