Renfrewshire Council

Crisis Grants

What a Crisis Grant is, who can get the grant, how to apply, how we make our decision, how we pay the grant, ask us to review our decision.

What a Crisis Grant is

A Crisis Grant is for help with unexpected expenses due to an emergency or disaster.

 Examples can be when you:

  • do not have enough money for immediate living expenses or items because of an emergency or disaster
  • are stranded because of an emergency and you need accommodation
  • need travel costs due to an emergency
  • do not have any other financial support, for example an authorised overdraft; a loan from a bank, building society or credit union; or help from family or friends
  • you're a grandparent or relative who has taken over caring for a child, and you're waiting on a transfer of benefits.

Find out what help you can get if you are homeless right now.

Expenses for things you might need after an emergency or disaster could include:

  • food and essential heating
  • nappies, toiletries, or clothing
  • travel or accommodation
  • furniture or household equipment
  • removal expenses or storage charges 
  • connection charges for gas and electricity.

You do not have to pay this grant back.

Who can get a Crisis Grant

You could get a Crisis Grant if you:

  • are 16 or over
  • are on a low income or getting certain benefits
  • cannot get financial help from anywhere else.

You may be eligible for a Crisis Grant if you get these benefits:

  • Income Support 
  • Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) - income based
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - income based
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit. 

Who cannot get a Crisis Grant

You cannot get the grant if you've: 

  • are not eligible for most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance (no recourse to public funds)
  • have applied for asylum to stay in the UK and are still waiting on a decision
  • already received three crisis grants in the last 12 months - we can only offer another grant in some exceptional circumstances
  • applied for the same grant in the last 28 days, unless your circumstances have changed
  • applied for an excluded item.

You can ask for an advance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) if you've recently applied for:

  • Universal Credit
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • State Pension.

How to apply

Apply online for a Crisis Grant

You'll get a unique reference code when you start the application form. Make sure you keep a note of this code.

If you do not complete the form within 20 minutes, your session will expire, and your data will not be saved. 

However, you can save your application by adding an email address and a password. You can use your reference code, email address and password to log in again and complete your application. 

On the application form, you'll need to tell us:

  • your National Insurance (NI) number
  • your date of birth
  • a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction reference number, if you have one
  • your address, postcode, and date you moved in to where you are currently staying
  • if you own or rent the property, you're leaving somewhere or staying with someone you know 
  • if you have a partner, children, or other dependants
  • what income or savings you have or what benefits you get
  • any other money or help you've tried to get
  • what you need to buy or replace and how much you think they will cost
  • any health problems like illness, a medical condition, disability, infirmity due to age, mental health problems, drug or alcohol problems
  • any other support, service, charity, or organisations that are helping you
  • any other information about your current circumstances like family problems, poor living conditions or coping after a disaster, risks to your family's health and safety.

If you need help to apply, phone us on 0300 300 0204 

  • Mondays to Thursdays between 8.45am and 4.15pm
  • Fridays between 8.45am and 3.25pm.

Once you have applied, we will contact you within 2 working days to let you know our decision.

How we make a decision

The amount of funding we have for this grant is limited. This means that we cannot help everyone who applies.  

To help us decide, your application is given a high, medium, or low priority depending on your needs and circumstances, or if you do not have any other way of paying for what you need.

We will look at how severe your situation is and how this affects you and your family.  

We may contact other departments or agencies who are helping you, such as health professionals or social workers, to verify your circumstances and any issues you may have.

We may also make a home visit, if required, before we give you the grant.

Crisis Grants are one-off payments and cannot support your income long term.

If you need help with recurring expenses and you're on a low income, see what other benefits or financial help you could get.

How we pay the grant 

We can pay the grant directly into your bank account, if you have one, or give you cash by text, which you can redeem in any shop that has PayPoint.

Depending on what you need, we may give you the items you've asked for, instead of cash or bank transfer. We'll contact you to arrange delivery or collection of the items.

Ask us to review a Crisis Grant decision

If you are not happy with our decision or you want more information about it, you can ask us to review a Crisis Grant decision.