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Hardship Fund

This scheme is designed to help people in debt with household bills including:

  • gas, electricity and water
  • rent and Council Tax arrears

This scheme is discretionary with limited funding available, so awards are limited to one per household.

To be considered for help you must be:

  • living in Southwark for at least 3 months
  • affected financially by one or more of the welfare reform changes effective since 1 April 2013
  • 16 years of age or older, and
  • receiving one or more of these disability related benefits:
    • Disability Living Allowance Care Component
    • Disability Living Allowance Mobility component
    • Personal Independence Payment - Daily Living Component
    • Personal Independence Payment - Mobility Component
    • Severe Disablement Allowance
    • Support element of Employment Support Allowance
    • Universal Credit (limited capability for work related activity)

You can submit your application at any time but we’ll only assess it during office hours - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 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 or post. If you’re successful, we’ll let you know how your award will be made and what to do next.

Apply for help from the Hardship Fund

Learn more about how we use your data - read our privacy notice

The Hardship Fund 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 from the Hardship Fund.

We’ll also refer you elsewhere if we feel 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.

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Hardship Fund telephone number: 020 7525 2434 (find out about call charges).


Page last updated: 22 November 2023


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