Support in a crisis

Due to the cost of living crisis we can only offer assistance with shopping and energy costs.

If you need help to cover unexpected expenses in a crisis or emergency, you can apply for support in the form of:

  • Shopping vouchers for Morrison's Supermarket
  • Key or Card top-up for Gas and/or Electric meter (British Gas customers are not included in this scheme)

Apply for support in a crisis

Who can apply

You are eligible to apply if you receive one or more of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

You must also: 

  • be responsible for the household you live in (i.e. can demonstrate liability for rent or Council Tax)
  • be resident in the London Borough of Sutton for at least 6 weeks prior to applying, or been placed in housing outside the borough by the London Borough of Sutton within the past 6 months
  • use any savings to help your situation or crisis before an application is considered
  • not have other means of support to help the situation or crisis e.g. social networks, family and friends
  • not be subject to immigration control
  • not have received a Crisis Loan or Grant award in the borough within the past 3 months
  • be without sufficient resources as to cause serious hardship which could affect the health or safety of the household

If you are due to leave an institution or care home within 6 weeks and you’re likely to get one of the above benefits then you would be eligible, providing you also meet the above conditions.

Any prisoner that was resident in the London Borough of Sutton for at least 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the previous 5 years, before going into prison, will be eligible to apply.

If you receive Universal Credit

You can get what is known as a budgeting advance for expenses. Before you apply for our crisis grant scheme, you’ll need to have applied for and been refused a budgeting loan and/or advance from the Department for Work and Pensions.


There are limits on funding to support families and individuals in most need. These include:

  • support for a crisis or emergency will be calculated on the basic needs to cover short-term crisis situation only
  • support will be calculated to cover basic needs until your household is next due a payment e.g. benefits, wages
  • the number of awards is limited to 4 in a 12-month period

What’s not covered by the fund

  • any educational or training needs including clothing, meals and travel
  • household items (unless you have a chronic medical conditions that requires a special diet or refrigerated medication)
  • expenses in connection with courts (legal proceedings) such as legal fees, court fees, fines, costs, damages, subsistence or travelling expenses
  • removal or storage charges if you are being rehoused following a:

    • compulsory purchase order

    • a redevelopment or closing order

    • a compulsory exchange of tenancies

    • under homelessness legislation

  • domestic assistance and respite care

  • any repair to Council property 
  • any repair to property of housing associations
  • a medical, surgical, optical, aural or dental item or service (all of these can be provided free of charge by the National Health Service)
  • debts to government departments
  • investments
  • costs of purchasing, renting or installing a telephone and any call charges
  • holidays
  • non-essential electrical goods such as a television
  • any expense which the local authority has a statutory duty to meet
  • costs of fuel consumption and any associated standing charges (except in an emergency/disaster)
  • housing costs, other than minor repairs and improvements
  • council tax, water charges or community water charges
  • daily living expenses, such as food and groceries, except in emergency/disaster situations

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