Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants are two parts of the social fund that are no longer available from The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

From 2nd April 2013 a scheme called the Essential Living Fund replaced Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants. Essex County Council is responsible for the new scheme. Individual applications are administered by Southend-On-Sea Borough Council for the whole of Essex.

What is the scheme?

The Essential Living Fund may be able to provide you with essential items in an emergency such as:

• Furniture & Furnishings
• White goods
• Household equipment
• Fuel connection or re-Connection charges
• Clothing and footwear
• General Living Expenses

The Essential Living Fund is operated as a grant system and if awarded, it will be paid by goods or vouchers.

To be considered for support you must be:

• Aged 16 or over
• In receipt of state benefits or on a low income
• Permanently live in Essex

How do I apply?

You can make an application online or by phone:

Phone: 0300 790 0124 - this number is Freephone from any number including mobiles. Opening hours: 8.45am to 5.15pm
Online: www.southend.gov.uk/elfforessex

You will be asked questions about your income, earnings and savings. You will also be required to provide proof of your financial situation.