This scheme provides in-kind support wherever possible rather than cash grants and may be available to you if you are experiencing a crisis or an emergency.

Who can use this service

  • You are 16 years of age or over and you live in Lambeth
  • You have lived in Lambeth for at least six weeks prior to applying (released prisoners, those fleeing domestic or gang violence, people living in council temporary accommodation or registered care projects are excepted from this requirement)
  • You are in receipt of at least one of:
    • Bereavement Benefit
    • Carer’s Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Incapacity Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Industrial Death Benefit
    • Industrial Injuries Benefit
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Maternity Allowance
    • Tax Credits
    • Widows Benefit
    • Housing Benefit
    • any type of Pension Credit

The emergency support scheme is also only available to you if you are:

  • experiencing a crisis or an emergency
  • being resettled into the community following a period in institutional or residential care
  • need support to prevent you from entering institutional or residential care
  • a family under exceptional pressure
  • setting up home as part of a planned resettlement.

You can't apply if:

  • You have received an award of crisis support under the Emergency Support Scheme within the past six months
  • You have received a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Budgeting Loan or Community Care Grant for the same items requested in the past 12 months
  • You have received an award of community care support from the Emergency Support Scheme within the past 12 months
  • You are seeking support for an excluded item
  • You are an excluded person, such as a person in a hospital, care home or prison, unless you are about to be discharged in the next two weeks
  • You have failed to pay a previous loan from the Emergency Support Scheme paid through the Credit Union
  • You are eligible for a short-term benefits advance or hardship payment from the DWP
  • You have received a Care Leaver’s Grant or Section 17 grant for the same items with the last 6 months for a crisis, or 12 months for a community care need
  • You are subject to immigration control and are not claiming a qualifying benefit. People subject to immigration control can only claim crisis support in a disaster situation

What you need to know...

We provide emergency support through:

  • High street vouchers
  • Food vouchers
  • Fuel payments
  • Second-hand furniture
  • Refurbished white goods
  • A handy-man service
  • Removals and storage service

Receiving your decision

You can submit your application at any time, but it will only be assessed during normal working hours - 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays. We will make a decision on whether to award your application based on your eligibility and your reasons for applying. We aim to make a decision about your application within 24 hours for crisis support and 72 hours for community care support.

You will be sent a decision letter by email or post, depending on the information you provide. If you are successful, we will let you know how your award will be made and what to do next.

Help making your application

All applications for the Emergency Support Scheme are made online. If you need support with making an application, Digi-buddies sessions are available at locations around the borough. For times and locations, please check our events calendar

Digi-buddies will be able to offer you support, but will not be able to complete the application for you. They will also not be able to answer questions on eligibility or on the outcome of your application.