Need Emergency Financial Assistance? These Resources Can Help

| 6 min read Financial Assistance

You wouldn’t be alone if you’ve ever found yourself worrying about how to get help with bills or other emergency expenses that pop up out of the blue. In September 2023, the Money Charity said 1 in 4 (27%) Brits are behind on at least one bill.  

We understand how difficult it can be to get help with finances, but know there is hope. There are resources available to you if you need emergency financial assistance and aren’t sure how to get rid of debt. Learn more about the ways you can find your way back from a personal financial crisis through government assistance, nonprofit programs, and online fundraising.

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What to do when a financial crisis strikes

During a financial crisis, reviewing your financial help options is important to avoid the pitfalls of credit card billing, predatory lenders, and other harmful debt relief solutions. Follow these tips:

  • Stay calm:  Better said than done, but try to overcome feelings of panic and hopelessness and list ways to find emergency cash assistance through legitimate avenues. 
  • Know your priorities: Reassess your budget and prioritize your spending. Look for ways to cut non-essential expenses to an absolute minimum.
  • Ask for help: Seek advice from friends and family you trust and ask how to get financial help for your situation. They can offer a few ways to get emergency financial assistance.

Programs that provide emergency financial assistance

Even with a new budget and a renewed focus, a financial emergency can still make it incredibly difficult to pay monthly bills and stay out of debt. If you’re still struggling to pay for expensive medical treatments, survive unpaid maternity leave, or deal with any other unexpected costs, there are public and private programs that can help you regain your footing.

Government assistance programs

These programs offer government grants, subsidies, and training to help individuals and families looking for emergency money assistance. 

The Household Support Fund

You may be able to get help with essential costs from your local council. This is sometimes known as ‘the Household Support Fund’. This can help to cover energy and water bills, food and essential items. 

Funding is aimed at anyone who’s vulnerable or cannot pay for essentials. You do not have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council.

Each local authority is different in determining who can quality for this. 

Cost of Living Payments

You may be able to get up to 5 payments to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits. This includes if you’re found to be eligible at a later date.

You may be entitled to up to 3 Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299 if you get any of the following benefits or tax credits on certain dates:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Council Tax Support

You may also be able to get help in paying for your Council Tax. 

ou could be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%.

You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.

What you get depends on:

  • where you live – each council runs its own scheme
  • your circumstances (for example income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
  • your household income – this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income
  • if your children live with you
  • if other adults live with you

Charities that provide financial assistance 

There are also numerous nonprofit programs and grants that aim to help people with everything from food and housing t o childcare. 

Nonprofit food assistance programs

  • The Trussell Trust – The Trussell Trust operate the largest network of foodbanks across the UK. You can search for your nearest food bank via their interactive map.
  • Independent Food Aid Network – IFAN are the UK network for independent food aid providers. They support and connect a range of independent frontline food aid organisations while advocating on their behalf at a national level.
  • Feeding Britain – Feeding Britain are running a network of emergency food programmes across the UK to protect children and their families from hunger. Hot meals and food packages are being made available, through a combination of home deliveries and collection points in the communities in which we operate, to ensure families on low incomes can put breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table each day

Nonprofit help with utilities

Nonprofit housing assistance for mortgage and rent costs

  • Shelter England – The national homelessness charity Shelter can provide you with free counselling to deal with a rental shortfall 
  • Citizens Advice – Also offers great advice and information about what to do when you are struggling. 

What if you aren’t eligible for assistance programs?

Red tape and lengthy application processes can be frustrating and discouraging when applying for government benefits, but don’t worry—there are other ways to find financial relief immediately. Crowdfunding can become an essential part of your financial recovery. 

Need help fast? Crowdfunding to the rescue

Countless people in your position have turned to online fundraising when they needed emergency financial help right away, whether for a natural disaster or an unexpected illness to share with their friends and social media network. 

Rest assured, emergency fundraising for housing costs, utilities, medical bills, and everything in between is easy with GoFundMe. We offer a simple set-up process, 24/7 customer support, and a blog full of fundraising tips and ideas, like how to share offline through texting or WhatsApp.

It’s completely understandable to feel a sense of regret or guilt when reaching out for assistance during a financial crisis. However, it’s important to remember that those closest to you genuinely care about your well-being and want to see you succeed. Accepting help from those who love you can make all the difference in getting through this challenging time.

Find financial freedom right now

When you’re unsure how to apply for emergency financial help and feel like you’ve reached a roadblock, GoFundMe is here for you. If you haven’t already, start a fundraiser and get support from the community around you to overcome this crisis.

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Written by GoFundMe