Local Welfare Assistance

Local Welfare Assistance provides emergency financial support and is administered by local authorities to help people on low incomes.

Basic Eligibility

Schemes vary from location to location but you normally can only apply if you are receiving certain benefits including…

  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income-based)
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support

How much will I get?

The amount you get (and indeed what you will receive) is entirely discretionary. You will not be able to claim cash but you maybe offered vouchers for food or clothing and even furniture.

How do I apply?


In England, not every council this run scheme. The Children’s Society have a free tool which lists which Councils who participate in this scheme, as do Child Poverty Action Group.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland you can apply for what is known as a Discretionary Support loan or grant. More information on this is available here.


In Scotland you can apply for what is known as a Community Care Grant or a Crisis Grant. The Citizens Advice Bureau have very a useful guide on these.


In Wales you apply to receive financial support from the Discretionary Assistance Fund. Read more about this here.