Finance Support Service
The Finance Support service replaced the Social Care Fund as a result of Welfare Reform. It is available if you are faced with a cost you are unable to meet because you are living on a low income.
The Finance Support service includes:
- Discretionary support which offers fast and responsive shortterm financial aid in the form of low interest loans or grants to people who are living in exceptional or crisis situations. Discretionary support will replace community care grants and crisis loans for household items and living costs.
- Budgeting loans between £100 and £1500 to help you cover the cost of expensive essential items. You will need to repay them out of your weekly benefits.
- Short term benefit advance will be provided if you need financial assistance while waiting on a benefit claim (Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, State Pension or Carer's Allowance) to be paid. You must repay the advance within 12 weeks, unless you are a victim of domestic violence.
- Funeral payments for burial or cremation costs and up to £700 for other expenses such as the funeral director’s fees. You should not arrange a funeral until you’ve checked whether you qualify.
Other help provided through the Finance Support service includes:
- Cold weather payments
- Winter fuel payments
- Maternity grants
Can I claim?
You usually need to be receiving certain benefits such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.
If you need help until your benefit claim has been paid you can ask for what is called a Short Term Advance of benefit instead of what is now called a Crisis Loan.
Welfare Reform has replaced Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans with Discretionary Support Payments.
How do I claim?
To help you determine what financial support is suitable for you, your eligibility and help to apply, contact the Finance Support
service on 0800 587 2750.
For further advice or information about the Finance Support service, contact the Age NI Advice and Advocacy Service on freephone 0808
Every year our Advice Service deals with thousands of calls from older people in need. Call us today to make sure that you are receiving all the help and support available to you.