Food or energy in a crisis
About our service
If you've experienced an unforeseeable, short-term crisis or you're facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency, we may be able to offer you:
- supermarket vouchers (to buy food, toiletries and nappies)
- gas or electric fuel vouchers (prepayment meters only).
We are a discretionary service, so will only be able to support you if you are in an unforeseeable, short-term crisis.
To apply for support, you must:
- be in an unforeseeable, short-term crisis or facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency (such as fleeing domestic abuse, a flood or fire)
- be aged 16 or over
- live in Kent (if you pay your Council Tax to Medway, Bromley or Bexley Council you will need to contact them for support)
- have a household income of £16,200 or less, or get a means-tested benefit
- be eligible to claim benefits in the UK
- have claimed all of the national benefits, grants and loans available to you
- have no access to savings, disposable income or support from other sources
- have spoken to a benefits or Job Centre Plus advisor about getting:
We cannot help if you are in financial difficulty because:
- you've had to pay regular bills, debts or household outgoings (for example birthdays, Christmas or school uniforms)
- your benefits have been stopped because of a Department for Work and Pensions sanction
- of the rise in the cost of living. Find cost of living support.
If you meet the above criteria, we may be able to help each household up to 3 times in a rolling 12 month period. We will not help for the same reason more than once.
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 household income (any income paid to you and any other adults who live with you including benefit payments and income from employment).
We will ask for evidence of your benefits and savings, and 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:
Once you've applied, we'll assess your application and confirm whether we can offer support. We'll also send you some information about organisations that may be able to help you to manage your financial crisis long-term.
If we can't help, we'll explain why and direct you to other organisations who may be able to support you.
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
If you don't have an account
If we cannot offer help or you need more help, our cost of living support pages can help you to find advice and support.
- 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.