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The Social Fund

The Social Fund is a limited pot of money managed by government, which is used for community care grants, crisis loans, funeral grants and cold weather payments. The money is given to people on a low budget to help them pay for emergencies such as funeral costs, costs for a new baby or one off payments for items like washing machines or furniture

What's changing?

From April 2013 the government is planning to stop parts of the Social Fund and local authorities will be asked to provide their own schemes to help people.  

 The main changes to the current Social Fund system are:

  • Crisis loans for living expenses and emergencies and community care grants will be replaced by schemes run by local authorities.
  • Budgeting loans will continue until Universal Credit is in place. As people move onto Universal Credit they will be able to access advance payments (which will replace budgeting loans) while they wait for their benefit to be paid.
  • Local authorities will get limited funding from the government and they will choose how this money is shared out.
  • Applicants won’t necessarily get cash payments but could receive goods and services instead

How do I apply for help

To make a claim for the Social Fund contact:

  • To apply for a crisis loan telephone 0800 032 7952 or visit your local Jobcentre. Someone at Jobcentre Plus decides if you are eligible and how much you should receive.
  • All except crisis Loans: telephone 0845 603 6967or visit your local Jobcentre

For more information visit the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) website: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/sb16-a-guide-to-the-social/introduction/