Grants and loans

Grants and loans can cover certain one-off costs or to help you if you're in urgent financial need.

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You could get a grant from your council if you’re disabled and need to make changes to your home, for example to:

  • widen doors and install ramps
  • improve access to rooms and facilities, eg stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
  • provide a heating system suitable for your needs
  • adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use

To find out more about what's available in your area, check with your council or visit the gov.uk page on Disabled Facilities Grants

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This is payable if you've been sanctioned (your benefits have been stopped or reduced) while claiming Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance and as a result face hardship. 

You'll have to make an initial ‘Hardship Statement’ that will be repeated each month if on Universal Credit. 

Payment is either 60% or 80% of your normal applicable amount or standard allowance depending on your circumstances.

Payment starts after 15 days unless you have a long-term health issue, are pregnant, homeless or a lone parent.

For Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance, this payment is a grant, but for Universal Credit it must be repaid by you in future months. 

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If you're entitled to certain means-tested benefits then a Cold Weather Payment of £25 will be allowed for each period of cold weather. This means a period of seven consecutive days where the average temperature is 0°Celsius or below.

You don't need to claim for this payment as it is paid automatically.

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You will automatically qualify for a £140 discount on your electricity or gas bill if the supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, and you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit.

In addition, most utility companies offer assistance with your bills if you are seen as ‘vulnerable’ – but you have to apply to each individually.

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You will normally automatically get an annual Winter Fuel Payment if you are over pension age.

Some people may need to make a claim if they have not had a Winter Fuel Payment before.

You'll get:

  • £200 if you're aged over pension age (up to 79)
  • £300 if you're aged 80 or over

Only one payment is made for each household. The payment will be split between the qualifying residents.

If you're in residential care and don't get any means-tested benefits then you can get half of the usual payment.

Contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160 for further information. 

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You can get a grant or an interest-free loan (depending on the estate of the person who has died) to help with the costs of a funeral.

To get a Funeral Expenses Payment, you or your partner must be getting one of the means-tested benefits. You must claim within three months of the funeral and be ‘eligible to be treated by the DWP as responsible for the costs of the funeral’.

You will usually be seen as eligible if you are the partner or parent of the deceased, or a close relative or close friend.

The grant will cover the funeral expenses up to £1,000 plus costs of purchasing a plot or cremation fees, hearse and some travel costs.

Since September 2019, the Funeral Support Payment replaced the expenses payment for those resident in Scotland. The rules are very similar, but a claim can be made up to six months after the funeral.

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Charitable funds are run by grant-giving charities to give help to people in financial need. Different funds have different aims and eligibility criteria, such as specific locations or particular illnesses or disabilities. 

To find out more about what grants might be available for your situation or where you live, visit the Turn2us grants search tool

Looking for more information?

Call our helpline on 0808 800 0303 to find out what grants or loans you may be eligible for. 

Last updated June 2020. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]