Southwark Emergency Support Scheme (SESS) can help if you're a Southwark resident who is facing a crisis, emergency or disaster and needs help.
We're making temporary changes to the scheme so those affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus) can get urgent support.
If you've had a sudden loss or reduction to your income and can’t meet your household’s basic needs you can now apply for support – for example:
- you're on a zero hours contract, or have lost your job, and are now without work
- you've applied for Universal Credit and haven't received your first payment
This scheme is discretionary with limited funding available, so awards are limited to one per household. We will only consider applications made by the main householder.
We normally provide goods or services rather than cash. For example, you might qualify for a food voucher or help with your energy bills. You can receive help if you:
- are facing a crisis, emergency or disaster
- are at risk of having to move out of your home and community and go into care, or
- are moving back into the community after spending time in a place such as a care home or hospital
You must also:
- have had your income severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, or
- have been living in Southwark for at least 3 months
- be 16 years of age or older, and
- be receiving one of these benefits:
- Universal Credit including the personal allowance element
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance (income based)
- Employment Support Allowance (income based)
- Guaranteed Pension Credit.
You can submit your application at any time and we’ll assess it in office hours as soon as possible. We’ll make a decision on whether to award your application based on your eligibility, and your reasons for applying.
We’ll let you know our decision by email. If you’re successful, we’ll let you know how your award will be made and what to do next.
SESS is a discretionary scheme with limited funding so we can only help those with the greatest need. We may ask you for evidence to support your claim. If you can’t provide this, we may refuse your claim.
We’ll refer you to other local support and advice services if we think it'll help you. In some cases, we may refer you to these services rather than make an award under SESS.
We’ll also refer you elsewhere if we think that a claim to another scheme or fund would be more appropriate, such as schemes run by Jobcentre Plus.
If you provide false or incomplete information, you may be prosecuted.
Southwark Emergency Support telephone number: 020 7525 2434 (find out about call charges).
Evidence you need to provide
In order to consider your application for help, we'll require supporting evidence. If you do not submit it with your application, we'll contact you by email, telephone or letter, to ask for it. If you do not provide the evidence that we ask for, your application may be refused.
You must provide us with:
- your most recent 2 months bank statements for all accounts you hold
- your most recent 2 months wage slips
- evidence that you have recently made a claim for Universal Credit
- a copy of your Furlough notice, redundancy letter or similar, from your employer
Page last updated: 09 June 2020