Click here to go back to financial help after a stroke.

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.

This is a very difficult situation to be in, but there is some help available. As well as benefits and help with health costs, there are some types of help designed for a crisis.

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.

To find out what is available in your area, contact your local council. You can find contact details or apply for help online in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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.

Budgeting loans

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

Many people are struggling with paying fuel bills. To find out more about the help available to you, visit our page about help with fuel bills and search for grants available from energy suppliers.

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.

Read our detailed information about benefits and financial help.