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How we can help

The Trust awards grants to:

  • Clear domestic gas and electricity debts
  • Clear other priority debts (known as Further Assistance Payments (FAP))
  • Purchase essential household items (known as Further Assistance Payments (FAP))

Further Assistance Payments

The following are examples of the types of Further Assistance Payments you can apply for.

Council Tax Debts - Payment will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances. Applications must always explain the history and current stage of enforcement.

Other Utility Debts - Payment may be considered where you can show that clearing these debts will enable you to budget better for your current bills. You must attach a copy of your most recent bill or demand for payment showing the up to date balance on your account. In the case of utility arrears, the bill must be based on actual usage, estimates cannot be accepted.

Telephone Debts - Payments for these debts may be considered where there is a serious social or medical need for the phone to remain connected or to be reconnected. Such a need must be supported by evidence from someone like your GP, health visitor or social worker.

Household items - Payments for items such as cookers, washing machines or refrigerators may be made where a special need for the item is shown. We will need a letter from an appropriate professional, e.g. health visitor, social worker or advice worker, confirming your need. If you need the item because of illness or disability in your family, you will also need to send us proof of that illness or disability. The Trust should not be seen as an alternative to Social Fund Community Care Grants.

Boiler Repairs / Replacement - Before applying for a boiler repair / replacement from the Trust, please check whether you are eligible for help under British Gas' ECO Scheme. For further information on ECO, please call 0800 294 0207 or visit  www.britishgas.co.uk/eco  If you are eligible for help under ECO, the Trust cannot help you. If you are not eligible under ECO and the Trust can help you, payment will be considered in exceptional circumstances, particularly where supporting letters from appropriate professionals confirming the need are provided. Quotes for the work will need to be provided prior to an award of a grant and work commencing.

Bankruptcy Deposits / Debt Relief Orders (DRO) - Applicants must not have previously been declared bankrupt nor be a home owner. They must provide a full list of debts and have received advice from a professional advice worker or intermediary. Bankruptcy applications will not be considered from those with assets above a value of £1,000 and total debts less than £15,000. DRO applications MUST include the ID number generated from the Insolvency Service's online application process. Please click here for the Bankruptcy & DRO declaration.

Funeral expenses - A payment may be considered where outstanding funeral expenses are causing hardship. Applications should indicate whether a payment has been received from the Social Fund towards those funeral expenses. Please tell us your relationship with the person who has died and why the estate of the deceased is unable to pay the funeral expenses.

Rent debts - Payment will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances. Applications must always explain the history and current stage of proceedings and provide supporting documentation.

Items the Trust cannot help with

The Trust cannot give you a loan or give you help with bills you have already paid or items you have already bought. The Trust will also not help with:

  • Fines for criminal offences
  • Overpayments of benefits
  • Educational or training needs
  • Business debts Debts to central government departments e.g. tax and national insurance
  • Catalogues, credit cards, personal loans and other forms of non-secured lending
  • Medical equipment, aids and adaptations
  • Deposits to secure accommodation
  • Holidays