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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.

Apply for a funeral payment (NI Direct)

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.

Apply for a Budgeting Loan (NI Direct)

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.

 

Crisis loans
Crisis loans are available to anyone; you don’t have to be getting any benefits. You may get a loan if you have emergency needs or are involved in a disaster (eg fire or flood) and the loan is necessary to prevent serious damage or risk to your health and safety.
Apply for a crisis loan (NI Direct)

Crisis loans

 

Crisis loans are available to anyone; you don’t have to be getting any benefits. You may get a loan if you have emergency needs or are involved in a disaster (eg fire or flood) and the loan is necessary to prevent serious damage or risk to your health and safety.

Apply for a crisis loan (NI Direct)

Community care grants

Granys may help you if you:

 

  • plan to leave institutional or residential accommodation (eg hospital, care home, prison or a hostel) and need help, for example to buy a bed, bedding, cooker or to pay fuel connection and removal charges;
  • need help to stay at home rather than go into a care home (eg for minor house repairs, bedding and essential furniture);
  • need help to ease exceptional pressures on families caused by disability, chronic sickness or major family changes;
  • need help with travel expenses in urgent situations (eg visiting someone who is ill or attending a relative’s funeral).

 

Apply for a community care grant (NI Direct)

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.

Further information

Downloads

Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Information sheets and 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 NI Advice: 0808 808 7575

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