This content applies to England only.
Housing laws vary between England and Scotland. Get advice relating to Scotland
From 1 April 2013, crisis loans from the social fund are no longer available. Crisis loans helped cover essential costs because of an emergency, including some housing costs.
What was a crisis loan?
A crisis loan was a payment from the social fund intended to cover essential costs following an emergency or following a disaster. Crisis loans were made from a limited pot of money, so not everyone who claimed got a payment. You may have applied for a crisis loan, for example, if there was a fire in your home or your home had been flooded or you needed rent in advance.
From 1 April 2013, crisis loans are no longer available.
If your application for a crisis loan was refused
If you made an application for a crisis loan before 1 April 2013 and it was refused, you can ask the Social Fund decision maker to review the decision. To do this, you must:
- apply in writing
- apply within 28 days of the date the decision was given
- explain clearly the reasons why you think the decision was unfair.
If you are not happy with any decision made on your application and want to ask for a review, get advice immediately. It is often difficult to get decisions about the social fund changed, but the help of an adviser could help you increase your chances of getting a loan. Use our directory to help find an adviser in your area.
If the decision isn't changed after you have asked for a review, you can then ask the Independent Review Service (IRS) to look at your application again. The IRS can change the decision if it was wrong.
Is alternative help available?
You may be able to get help with essential costs through:
- a budgeting loan
- local welfare support from your local council.
To find out more about local welfare support and other alternatives to crisis loans, see our page Cash in a crisis.