Support in a crisis

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.

Universal Credit advance

If you have claimed Universal Credit you can ask for a Universal Credit advance:

  • As soon as you make your claim for Universal Credit
  • Before you get your first payment
  • If you are already being paid Universal Credit and have a change in your circumstances that means you will be paid more Universal Credit but have not yet been paid the increased amount

To apply for a Universal Credit advance you can:

  • Speak to your Jobcentre Plus work coach
  • Apply through your online account
  • Call the Universal Credit helpline

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

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.