If you have been receiving UC for 6 months or more you can apply for a budgeting advance to help pay for emergency household costs (for example buying a new cooker or for help getting a job or staying in work). A budgeting advance is a loan which you will repay through your regular UC payments.
The minimum amount you can apply for is £100. The maximum amount you can get is:
• £348 if you’re single
• £464 if you have a partner but no children
• £812 if you or your partner claim Child Benefit.
A budgeting advance is different to an advance payment of your UC, which is a payment to help you whilst you are waiting for your first payment of UC, or waiting for an increase in UC following a change in your circumstances.
For more information on advances, see Gov.uk
Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF)
In Wales, you may be able to get help from the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF).
The DAF provides urgent grants to people as a last resort, and can include awards for certain electrical white goods, such as fridges and cookers, in addition to household items such as beds, bedding, curtains and kitchen items. Grants do not need to be paid back. In an emergency or disaster, small cash payments may be available. For more information on the DAF see our advice on cash in a crisis.
Food banks provide food parcels to people in need. They are often run by church or community groups.
Some food banks offer a hot meal and advice. If you live in a rural area and cannot afford to travel to collect your box, some food banks offer a free delivery service.
Contact the Trussell Trust to find your nearest food bank and see what they offer in your area.
If you are waiting for a UC payment and run out of gas or electricity contact your energy supplier and ask for an emergency top up. You will have to pay any top up back though your meter.
If your UC has stopped because of a sanction, you might be able to apply for hardship payments to help you pay for essential things like food and heating. You will normally have to pay back any hardship payment through your regular UC payments.
Ring the free UC helpline on 0800 328 9344 to ask for a hardship payment.
For more ideas about what to do in a crisis, click here.