Social Fund Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants were abolished in April 2013 and replaced by a new local crisis prevention fund. Rather than setting up a new scheme the council is working with local organisations to provide a range of help, including advice and support in kind like food vouchers and second hand furniture.

If you are struggling in a crisis it is really important that you get help. There are lots of organisations in the city that can offer support for the following:

Universal Credit

More information on Universal Credit is available from

Welfare Information Phone Line

The Southampton Welfare Line 023 8001 0883 is available from Monday to Friday 10am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 4pm. There will be an answering machine at all other times. 

This service can assist you by providing information about support available locally.

Help from Jobcentre Plus

Although Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants have been abolished you can still apply for an Interim payment (short-term benefit advance) or a Budgeting Loan from Jobcentre Plus.

Short-term benefit advance

If you have claimed benefits you may be able to ask for an advance payment of benefits if:

  • There is a delay in processing your claim which isn’t your fault and you are experiencing financial hardship
  • You have had a change in circumstances which means a significant increase in the amount of benefit you are entitled to

To be eligible for a short-term benefit advance you must be claiming an income related benefit such as Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support.

Any advance of benefit will have to be repaid over a short time (up to 12 weeks). This will be taken back from subsequent payments of benefit.

Contact Jobcentre Plus to apply for a short-term benefit advance.

Find out more about short term benefit advance by reading Child Poverty Action Group's information on short term benefit advance

Hardship Payments

If your benefit has been sanctioned, suspended or there is a delay in making a decision about benefit you may be able to get a hardship payment. You will not automatically get this and you will need to show that you or your family are suffering severe financial hardship.

To apply for a hardship Payment you will need to complete form 'JSA10' that is available from Jobcentre Plus.

Budgeting Loans

If you have been claiming certain income-related benefits for at least six months, you can apply for an interest-free loan from Jobcentre Plus to pay for essential items such as:

  • A cooker, fridge and washing machine
  • Furniture such as a bed or sofa
  • Costs of moving into a new home
  • Clothes for a job interview or so you can start work

 Visit Budgeting Loans to find out more and make an application.