Emergency help with money
What do I need to know?
If you can’t pay your rent or bills, you might be able to get some emergency help with money. Look at the options below.
Overdrafts, credit cards and borrowing from payday loan companies can be very expensive, especially if you don’t pay them back in time. Remember, loans must usually be paid back, grants do not.
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Discretionary Assistance Fund
The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) provides 2 types of urgent grants to people in Wales as a last resort.
- Individual Assistance Payments (IAPs) to help in some urgent situations, for example if you are trying to move house or stay in your current home, and
- Emergency Assistance Payments (EAPs) to help meet expenses as a result of an emergency or disaster. They might be able to help pay towards heating your home in the event of extreme weather.
The DAF can include help towards certain electrical white goods, as well as household items such as beds, bedding, curtains and kitchen items.
Read more about the DAF here.
Short Term Benefit Advance
If you are waiting for your first benefit payment, you may be able to get an advance payment, also known as a short-term benefit advance.
You can ask for this if there is a delay in processing your benefit claim which isn’t your fault, or you are waiting for an increase in your benefit payments due to a change in your circumstances. Find out more here.
If your benefits have stopped because of a sanction, you might be able to apply for hardship payments.
You will need to prove that you or your partner will have problems paying for essential living costs.
If you’re homeless, pregnant, a single parent or vulnerable (perhaps because of an illness), you should be able to get a hardship payment straightaway.
You don’t usually have to repay a hardship payment.
Budgeting Loan and Budgeting Advance
Budgeting loans are interest-free loans available only to people claiming certain income-related benefits.
There are two types of loan, depending on which benefits you are claiming:
- budgeting loans– if you claim income support, jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance or pension credit
- budgeting advances– if you claim universal credit.
If you are losing income because you have:
- tested positive for coronavirus and/or
- been told to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect system
you might be able to apply for a £750 self-isolation payment.
Find out if you qualify here.
You will need to contact your local council to apply. Find details of your local council and how to apply here.
If you do not receive one of the benefits above you may still be eligible for a discretionary payment if you have been formally told to self-isolate. Contact your local council for more details.
If you are struggling to pay your rent and are already receive housing benefit or universal credit (UC) housing costs, you might be able to get a discretionary housing payment to ‘top-up’ your rent.
If you have got behind with your rent because of coronavirus and you were not getting housing benefit or UC housing costs at the time, you might be able to apply for a Tenancy Hardship Grant (THG). A THG is paid directly to your landlord to cover rent arrears and does not need to be paid back.
If you are worried about your gas or electricity bills, contact your supplier as soon as you can. You could get support including:
- reduced bills or debt repayments
- a temporary break in your bills or debt arrangements
- a change to your bill payment plan
- an agreement for someone else to top up your pre-payment meter.
If you are on certain benefits, you might qualify for a one-off £200 cash payment from the Welsh Government Winter Fuel Support Scheme. To find out more about this and other types of help you might be able to get, click here.
If you require further support you may be eligble for the Priority Service Register
Food banks provide food parcels to people in need.
Some food banks offer a hot meal and advice. If you live in a rural area and can’t 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 then contact them to see what they offer in your area.
You need a voucher to use a food bank. You then swap this at the food bank for food.
You can get food bank vouchers from:
If you are struggling to pay your debts then get advice as soon as you can. Click here to find details of our free, specialist, independent, confidential debt advice service in Wales.