Discretionary crisis support scheme

We understand that there will be times when a household with a low income, that can't access credit, face sudden unexpected costs.

The Hackney discretionary crisis support scheme may be able to help with some of the urgent financial needs not covered by regular social security benefits or tax credit payments.

This help takes the form of one-off payments for emergencies or items that are difficult to budget for, such as:

  • purchasing essential items when setting up a new home (after leaving care, hospital, prison or as part of a resettlement programme)
  • replacing clothing and footwear lost in a disaster
  • rent in advance if not met by the discretionary hardship fund or available through a budgeting loan/budgeting advance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • providing daily living expenses for families where their money has been lost or stolen
  • providing daily living expenses for households where the usual source of income has been interrupted temporarily
  • reconnection of fuel supply to families in crisis: payment will only be made direct to the utility company to reestablish supply
  • emergency travel expenses

Awards will only be made in exceptional circumstances, for example where there is a danger to the health and well being of the applicant, and where the applicant has no other means of dealing with the crisis.

When assessing that risk we will look at the circumstances behind the application, the household income and savings, and other specialist care and/or support that may be available.

Funding for the scheme is fixed and cannot be exceeded. Once all the money available has been spent no application can be accepted regardless of the merits involved. Households in the greatest need will be prioritised for awards. 

If you have claimed a DWP benefit and are waiting for a payment, you should not apply for Hackney discretionary crisis support. You should first go to your local Job Centre Plus and ask to apply for a short term benefit advance.

Who can apply?

The scheme is open to everyone, apart from:

  • people under 16
  • people who are subject to immigration control, including asylum seekers, people who have been refused leave to remain and those with no recourse to public funds
  • people who have their daily living needs provided for them, i.e. a person in hospital or a care home, a prisoner, a member of a religious order, a person in relevant education, unless they are about to leave and return to the local community
  • applications from full time students/student households will only be accepted in emergency cases and/or because of a disaster

How to apply

Applications to the scheme can only be made through our partner agencies. To apply for help you (or someone who helps you) will need to contact one of the providers. There are two organisations who can offer a general drop-in service. 

East End Citizens Advice Bureau
300 Mare Street, E8 1HE
Tel 020 8525 6350

  • general advice
  • specialist advice on debt and welfare benefits and, in other offices, on immigration, employment and housing
  • You will need to have a short introductory interview to help decide how you can be best advised
  • Monday to Thursday, 8.30am - 5pm - clients are seen on a first come first served basis for an initial 10 minute assessment of need
  • Friday, 9.30am - 5pm - assisted information service only

A number of organisations are able to submit applications on behalf of their clients; if you are already in touch with any of these organisations, or feel they will be able to support you, please contact them.

Family Action
Unit 6, Ability Plaza Arbutus Street Hackney, E8 4DT
Tel 020 7254 9300

  • practical, emotional and financial help to disadvantaged and socially isolated families

Make an appointment by contacting your GP or another health professional, or make a self-referral at your surgery.

City and Hackney MIND
8-10 Tudor Rd, E9 7SN
Tel 020 8985 4239

  • high-quality information and advice, and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone


66 New North Road, N1 6TG
Tel 020 7613 5944

  • advice service to Kurdish, Turkish service users on welfare rights, entitlements, debt and consumer rights

Open for telephone calls:

Mon to Fri: 9am-5 pm

Bikur Cholim
Ground floor, 2a Northfield Rd, N16 5RN
Tel 020 8800 7575

  • the largest health and social care provider for the Charedi (Orthodox Jewish) community in North London
  • provides a culturally appropriate Floating Support Service in Hackney
  • can help members of the community to access the Hackney Discretionary Crisis Support scheme.


St Mungo's Housing Association
146 Mare St, London E8 3SG
Tel 020 8525 7700 

  • housing, support and care for vulnerable and excluded people who either have been, or are at risk of, sleeping rough and homelessness


Family Mosaic Housing Association

  • provides care and support services to tenants needing crisis support and those using the Family Mosaic floating support service


Supporting People Providers Consortium

A number of supporting people providers, including ONE Housing Group, Peter Bedford Housing Association, Stonewall Housing, Providence Row Housing Association, Vision College, and MACE Housing have joined together to assist their clients to access the scheme. If you are being helped through Hackney's Supported People programme or are an LGBT client then please contact them for help.


SHP Hackney
Tel 020 8986 8515
Freephone: 0800 783 2993

  • community based housing support to vulnerable people in the south of Hackney borough
  • help for people with resettlement, living independently
  • promotes social and economic wellbeing and greater inclusion in the wider community
  • the service is provided to clients in their own homes, or via appointment at other suitable locations

Advisors are available to see clients 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays.

If you have a query or would like to make a self referral please contact the duty worker on: 0208 986 8515 or freephone: 0800 783 2993

London & Quadrant

  • advice, help and support with access to the discretionary support scheme


Page updated: 22/09/2017 16:24:23