Skip to main content

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Information on this website is subject to change at short notice due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Please click here for information and advice about the current COVID-19 outbreak and how to get help from your council, as well as other sources of information and support. You can also offer to volunteer.

Budgeting Loans and Local Support Payments

Budgeting advance/loans and Local Support Payments are two types of payments you can receive in addition to your benefits. They're intended to cover the costs of unexpected expenses, for example if you have to move house, if your rent suddenly goes up, or if you need to repair or replace an essential item of household furniture or equipment like a bed or washing machine.  

Budgeting Advance

If you are on Universal Credit, you can apply for a Budgeting Advance, which is an interest-free loan offered by the Department of Work & Pensions. They are available to people who have been claiming benefits like Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, income-related Employment & Support Allowance or StatePension Credit for at least 26 weeks.

The minimum amount you can receive is £100, and the maximum you can receive is £812. This is a loan so you do have to pay it back through reduced Universal Credit payments, typically over the next 12 months.

How much you will be able to get will depend upon your circumstances, and how easily you will be able to repay the loan.

To apply, contact your Jobcentre Plus work coach.

Find out more about Budgeting Advance and how to request an advance

Budgeting loans

You can apply for a Budgeting Loan if you are on Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, income-related Employment & Support Allowance or State Pension Credit for the last 6 months.  If you have moved to Universal Credit to Pension Credit, then time on Universal Credit will count. 

The minimum amount you can receive is £100, and the maximum you can receive is £812. This is an interest free loan so you do have to pay  back what you borrowed.  

How much you will be able to get will depend upon your circumstances, and how easily you will be able to repay the loan.

If you have been offered a loan, the letter will explain the details on how you will pay it back.   You may have up to 2 years to repay.

To claim, you can apply online or you can complete Form SF500 and take it to your local Jobcentre Plus.

Find out more about Budgeting Loans and how to request a loan.

Local Support Payments are offered by Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Wesminster councils. They are not cash payments, but will be made in the form of refurbished household equipment (for example washing machines, refrigerators, sofas, etc), or vouchers redeemable in high street shops against the items you have told the council you need to purchase. You cannot ask for a cash alternative.

You can apply for a Local Support Payment if you are a local resident and claiming Income Support, Job Seekers' Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Individual Payment, Universal Credit, or Pension Credit.

General

The Independent Age website provides a guide to Budgetting Loans and Local Support Payments.

If you are not able to get either a Budgeting Loan or a Local Support Payment, there may be alternative ways to get the things you need.

Organisations like Emmaus and Rework refurbish and sell used furniture and household goods at low prices.

Freecycle UK and Freegle are online bulletin boards where people can advertise unwanted items, including clothes, furniture, toys and household goods, to be collected for free. You can also post 'Wanted' messages requesting items.

Friends of the Elderly offers one-off grants to older people to cover the costs of replacing furniture and household goods, as well as the costs of household repairs and adaptations, utility bills, and mobility aids.

Disability Grants UK is a website listing charitable organisations offering grants to disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, to cover the costs of mobility aids, household goods, rent, bills and unexpected expenses. 

Westminster

If you would like to receive independent advice on money and benefits, accessing care and support, legal issues, housing,  your rights as a carer, and a range of other issues, then you can contact the WestminsterCAB

Hammersmith & Fulham

Staying First has a debt and welfare benefits service for people living in Fulham which provides free independent and confidential advice. They can help with benefits entitlement or problems, representation at tribunals, negotiating with creditors or baliffs and advice on money management.