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Emergency Information - Advice and Other Help

You might find yourself caught short of money and need help with essentials like food or paying your bills. Please look at the range of support options we discuss in this guide.

Advice and Other Help

If you are getting the benefits you are entitled to, you might be able to get help from other places.

Support from the council

If you are ill, injured, have a disability or you are a carer and you have an emergency, you can ask your local council for help.  

You may be eligible for support such as:

  • Respite from caring

  • Help towards the cost of specialist equipment or adaptations to your home

  • Help with housework.

Your local council can also advise on issues like flooding or fire, domestic violence or homelessness.

Find your local council  

Support from charities

There are lots of charitable funds which can assist people who are struggling. Some provide help in emergencies but most applications take a while to be processed.  

Use our Grant Search to see if you are eligible for a grant in your situation. A grant is money that you would not have to pay back. 

Affordable household goods

The Reuse Network

A national body dedicated to alleviating poverty and tackling climate change. 

Are you looking for affordable household items, find a reuse centre near you

Social fund loans  

There are Interest-free loans which may be accessed in emergencies and repaid from your benefits.

See the Gov.UK website information on Budgeting Loans

For essential household item such as a washing machine or cooker, Fair for You are a 'not-for-profit' organisation that provides small loans to people who may not be able to receive credit elsewhere to purchase directly the item they need.

To find out more and for full terms and conditions, see the Fair for You website

Credit Unions

Credit unions are available to many people for small loans often at short notice. To find out more or to see if you have a credit union in your area, see the Association of British Credit Unions website

Get Advice

If you need help to deal with an emergency, you can contact the following organisations for advice or use our Find an Advisor tool to local advice.

Housing and Homelessness

•    Crisis: National Charity for Single Homeless
•    Shelter England/Scotland Helpline 0808 800 4444
•    Shelter Cymru Helpline 0345 075 5005
•    Housing Rights Service Northern Ireland (NI) Helpline 028 9024 5640

See the Turn2us Help with Housing Costs information


•    My Money Steps 
•    National Debtline Helpline 0808 808 4000
•    StepChange Helpline 0800 138 1111

See the Turn2us Debt information

Mental Health

•    Mind
•    Samaritans

UK emergencies, for example flooding

•    British Red Cross

Last reviewed: December 2018

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