Home essentials in a crisis
The Household Support Fund is now open for applications. You may be eligible to apply for energy support to help with rising living costs. This is a separate scheme to the Kent Support and Assistance Scheme, funded by the UK government.
About our service
Our Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) may be able to help you if you have experienced an unforeseen, short-term crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency.
We are unable to offer support to help with Christmas expenses, or due to financial hardship experienced because of the rise in the cost of living. UK Government are providing financial support to help households manage these costs and you may be eligible to get payments to help if you’re receiving certain benefits or tax credits.
We offer our help for a short time only if you have no other means of support, and if all other avenues of support have been exhausted.
We can potentially help a maximum of 3 times in a rolling 12 month period, and only if the eligibility criteria are met. We will not help for the same reason more than once.
Our service is a discretionary service that offers support where it can. However, there are circumstances where we won't provide assistance. Examples of these circumstances include:
- the replacement of broken items
- continued or long term support where we have already provided assistance
- financial difficulties faced as a result of paying regular bills or debts
- if you have a sanction on your DWP benefit
- where our baseline criteria are not met (see 'who is eligible' below).
For now, we're not able to help with items like furniture, white goods and clothing. If you need help with these things, please go to our list of organisations that may be able to help.
Please read the 'other places to get help' information below for further guidance on the support that is available across Kent.
Before you apply we'll expect you to have claimed any national benefits, grants and loans which are appropriate to your situation.
Your local district council may also be able to help you if you need help paying rent or rent in advance through a Discretionary Housing Payment.
You must have spoken to a benefits or Job Centre Plus advisor about the following before applying to us for help:
If you have had your benefits stopped as a result of a Department for Work and Pensions sanction we will not be able to help you unless exceptional circumstances apply.
If you are not eligible to receive benefits in the UK, we will not be able to help you.
To make an application, you must:
- be aged 16 or over
- live in Kent (if you pay your Council Tax to Medway Council you will need to contact their local welfare provision scheme)
- live on a low working income, or receive a means-tested benefit if not in employment
- have no access to savings or support from other sources.
We will ask for evidence of your benefits and savings, and we may also ask for things like:
- proof of any reasons you give for needing help (such as unusual expenses) through receipts or screenshots of your online or mobile banking, showing the transactions
- proof of your earnings if you are working
- anything else relevant to the circumstances detailed on your application form.
To ask for our help:
- apply online (if you are applying on behalf of someone else, please do not log in to complete the application)
- visit one of our gateways or your nearest Citizen's Advice Bureau.
To complete the application you will need:
- your National Insurance number
- details of anyone who lives in your house, including their National Insurance number(s)
- details of your income and that of your partner or other adults living with you (this includes benefits payments and any income from employment).
Once you have applied for help from us, we will contact you with information on agencies that may be able to help you in your situation long-term and enable you to manage your financial crisis. We will then tell you if we are able to provide the items you need, and explain how we will get the goods to you.
If we can't help you, we will explain why and tell you about your right to ask for a review of your situation. We will also let you know where you can go to get more advice or information.
Appeal a decision
If we have declined your application within the last 7 days and you feel the decision should be reviewed, you can appeal in the following ways:
If you have an account
Log in and appeal against a declined application
If you don't have an account
We don't offer money. We can provide essential home items such as:
- groceries (for up to 7 days)
- baby food, milk and nappies
- furniture (beds and seating)
- essential electrical appliances (fridge, cooking appliance, washing machine)
and help with:
- utilities (prepayment gas and electric, for up to 7 days)
- emergency travel arrangements via public transport (for example to flee a crisis)
Most of the home items we provide will be secondhand.
These are just some of the situations under which we may offer you help. They are just examples and should not be used to decide whether or not you are eligible for our help. If you aren't sure, please contact us.
- Your ESA has been suspended and you have already made an appeal.
- You have had an essential but unexpected payment to make (this does not include regular bills or direct debits, and we will need to see evidence of your unexpected payment).
- You are waiting for a new benefit claim to come through.
- Your money has been stolen or you have lost it.
- You have spent your money on hospital travel.
- You are fleeing domestic abuse.
- You have left care.
- You have left prison and used your discharge money for travel.
- You are a victim of fire or flooding.
If we cannot offer help or you need more help, our cost of living support pages can help you to find your way through the advice and support available.
- check if you are eligible for any benefits
- get advice about how to reduce energy use and who to contact for help paying bills
- use our help and support finder to find help available with food, Council Tax, clothing, childcare and much more