When you are hit with a sudden health problem like a stroke, it can reduce your income or cause unexpected extra costs. You might find yourself short of money for rent, bills and food.
Grants from your local council
Many local councils or local authorities in the UK offer emergency assistance schemes for people on a low income. Help on offer may include a grant or crisis loan, as well as vouchers for food, fuel, clothing and travel. Read more about grants and how to apply.
Grants from other organisations
Money is available from a range of sources for groups of people including those with disabilities and health conditions. Search online to find out if there is one you could apply for such as the Tavistock Trust Small Grants scheme for people with aphasia, the Sense list of disability grants and the Lightning Reach portal for help with the cost of living.
Universal Credit provides loans to tide you over while waiting for payments to start, but if you are on another type of income-based benefit you can apply for a Budgeting Loan. This can be used to pay for things like furniture, rent advances and moving costs.
Grants to pay energy bills
How to get access to a food bank
You usually need to be referred (sent) to a food bank by a professional such as a Citizens Advice service, your GP or a social worker. Your local council website should give information about food banks and other crisis support in your local area. Find out more about using a food bank from Citizens Advice.
Toiletries and period products
Food banks often supply toiletries and period product as well as food. Schools and colleges in the UK should provide free period products to students.
Emotional support in a financial crisis
If you are feeling overwhelmed by money issues, it can help to talk to someone.
Our trained Helpline officers on 0303 3033 100 are there to listen, and they can give practical pointers about how to get help.
You can also contact the text-based support line Shout by texting 'SHOUT' to 85258 where a trained volunteer can support you with anxiety, stress or a mental health crisis. You can phone the Samaritans any time of day on 116 123 or send them an email.