Emergency support scheme

If you are on a low income and have experienced an unexpected event which has left you with no food or fuel to heat your home, you may qualify for a minimum of 3 days support under the Council’s Emergency Support Scheme. You will be booked into a local foodbank where food is donated by local people and/or given a paypoint voucher for a set amount.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SCHEME DOES NOT PROVIDE CASH

To make an application, call 0800 408 2014 (free phone) or 0151 443 3200. You will be asked some eligibility questions to start the claim process, including the reason why your are applying.  A member of the team will then ring you back, as soon as possible, to complete a detailed telephone application and let you know if you qualify for emergency support.

Opening hours are 09.30 to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Please ensure to ring as early as possible if you are seeking immediate support.  We may not be able to help you on the same day if you ring after midday.  Our target is to ring you back within 2 hours.

You must be in receipt of one of the below benefits:

  • Income support  
  • JSA (IB)
  • ESA (IR)
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • About to be in receipt of one of the above benefits

You must be responsible for the household bills and pay for your fuel with a pre-payment meter.

Before you ring the number, you should check if you can still get support from the DWP

The Council’s Scheme will not duplicate any support that the DWP still provides. Read the details below to see if you need to contact the DWP first.

Services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions and Job centre Plus:

  1. Short Term Benefit Advances, for new benefit applicants or existing claims where there is a significant change of circumstance. If you have recently applied for benefit you can apply for a Short Term Benefit Advance by calling the DWP's Benefit Enquiry hotline on 0845 608 8526.
  2. Budgeting Loans, to help pay for essential items. Please visit www.gov.uk/budgeting-loans/ for further information or pick up an application form from your local jobcentre.
  3. Hardship payments for those who have received a benefit sanction. To claim hardship payments you will need to complete form JSA ESA10JP at your local Job centre Plus office

If you are experiencing an upheaval

The Scheme may also support you if you need furniture to help you settle back in to the community under specific circumstances or to avoid you having to enter institutional care.

For example:

  • If leaving care, leaving prison, fleeing domestic violence,  homeless and leaving temporary accommodation
  • If at risk of going into institutional care. (The household item / furniture would need to prevent you going into care)

Please note: This does not include aids and adaptations or other items which would normally be provided from other sources of funding/support

In these instances, you must have previously applied for and been refused support from DWP Budgeting Loans (please visit www.gov.uk/budgeting-loans/). You will be asked for the original copy of the Budgeting Loans refusal letter before proceeding with your Emergency Support Scheme application.

Applications will be taken via your support worker, for example social worker, support worker, probation officer, etc. If you do not have a support worker, we may consider a direct claim from yourself.

If you are eligible please be aware that we can only provide essential items of furniture and this could be reconditioned or second hand.  Our target is to deal with your request within 14 days.  Alternatively, the Citizens Advice Bureau, or similar agency can signpost you to other funding that may be available or affordable suppliers for the items you need.

Please ring 0800 408 2014 (free phone) or 0151 443 3200 to submit an expression of interest for support.

How to make an application

To make an application, call 0800 408 2014 (free phone) or 0151 443 3200. You will be asked some eligibility questions to start the claim process, including the reason why your are applying.  A member of the team will then ring you back, as soon as possible, to complete a detailed telephone application and let you know if you qualify for emergency support.