Essential Living Fund

Applying for an Essential Living Fund

You can apply if you are either in receipt of benefit, or working and receive a low income.

How to apply

You should make all applications online, including applications for food and toiletries.

It is important that you complete the income and expenditure form accurately. You should include as much information as possible to show why you are applying.

If you are applying for furniture and white goods, use the notes section of the application form to explain in detail why you are without these items. If you have moved home, include the reason for your move and where you were living before. We may need a copy of your tenancy agreement, which you can attach on the application.

All financial information and details of personal circumstances that you provide will be checked carefully to confirm whether you're eligible.

The application pages open as a 'pop-up' window, so may not work if your web browser is set to block pop-ups – advice on how to get round this is included on the page linked below. 

Apply for an Essential Living Fund (

Essential Living Fund team

: 0300 790 0124

Open from 8:45am to midday.

We recommend applying for general living expenses by phone.

Applying more than once

No more than 3 applications for general living expenses can be made within a 12-month period.

For other applications, we wouldn't normally make an award within 12 months of a previous application unless there had been a relevant change in circumstances. For example, if you had been awarded a bed and it had been destroyed by a house fire within 12 months, you would be able to apply again.