Grants and loans

If you're worried about the cost of living, there are different grants and loans available to cover one-off costs or help if you're in financial need. Here we explain what these are and how to apply.

Disabled Facilities Grants

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 page on Disabled Facilities Grants.

Hardship Payments Scheme

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. 

Cold Weather Payment

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 7 consecutive days where the average temperature is 0C or below.

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

Warm Home Discount

In England and Wales, you'll qualify for a £150 discount on your electricity or gas bill if the supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, and:

  • you or your partner get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit


  • your property meets a 'high energy cost criteria', and you get one of the following: Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit Savings Credit, Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit.

Some utility companies also offer assistance with your bills if you are seen as ‘vulnerable’, but you have to apply to each individually.

Scotland also has a scheme. If you get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit you automatically qualify. Other people on means-tested benefits and who are in fuel poverty can also apply.
There is currently no scheme in Northern Ireland. 

Winter Fuel Payment

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 1 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. 

Funeral Expenses Payment

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 3 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 6 months after the funeral.

Charitable grants

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

There is help at hand

We can help you understand what financial support is available and make sure you’re claiming the money you’re entitled to.

Last updated December 2022. 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]