Can I get financial help whilst I wait for benefits?

hen you claim for Universal Credit you can apply for an Advance Payment by requesting one on your journal. A payment up to the maximum award you will get on UC should be made to you  once you have verified your ID.

We urge caution though, a maximum Advance Payment with Housing Costs for one person including housing costs would come to roughly £1000; however, it will be recovered from the following year’s monthly payments. A monthly repayment of £83 will make a sizeable dent in a living costs award of only £404 a month.

What happens if I am refused an Advanced Payment?

There is no right of appeal against the refusal of an Advance Payment. However, you should be able to ask Job Centre Plus to reconsider a decision. Usually, an Advance Payment is only refused if you are not likely to be entitled to UC.

Can I get help in an emergency from the Council?

Each council has a Hardship Payment fund offering help for emergencies or while you are waiting for other benefits to come through.

You  can apply directly to your Council for hardship payments or urgent help during the COVID-19 lockdown:

Bolton: 01204 337221

Bury: 0161 253 5353

Manchester 0800 234 6123 (emergency social services number – 0161 234 5001; if you are have nowhere to stay at night 0161 234 5001)

Oldham 0161 770 7007                                              

Rochdale 01706 923685

Salford 0800 952 1000

Stockport 0161 217 6046

Tameside 0161 342 8355

Trafford 0300 3309073

Wigan 01942 489018

If you have children or are a vulnerable adult and haven’t been able to get support from anywhere else you may also be able to get some financial help from Social Services .

What happens if my child had free school meals but they can no longer go to school?

Contact your child’s school to find out about alternative help or apply for help to the Council’s hardship scheme.

Is there any help with gas or electricity bills?

Contact your supplier – some suppliers are sending pre-payment cards with credit to people who are stuck at home and self-isolating. Find out more about handling debts on our Protect yourself from Debt page.

Is there any other help that I can get to pay for basic essentials?

There may be grants available to assist you for both on-going and unexpected expenditure, for example if you work(ed) in a particular industry. To do a grant search please go to:

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