About the emergency support scheme

The emergency support scheme was set up by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to provide discretionary support to local residents in difficult times, for example, after a house fire or flood.

There are two types of support available:

  • Community support awards
  • Emergency support payments.

Find out more about community support awards

Find out more about emergency support payments

Who can apply

To qualify, you must live in Royal Greenwich and be both of the following:

  • aged 18 or over - or aged 16 to 17 and living with parents or guardians
  • eligible to receive benefits in terms of your immigration status or residency, for instance you don't require leave to enter or remain in the UK.

Please note that - You're unlikely to be awarded support through the scheme if any of the following apply:

  • your benefits have been stopped (sanctioned) - apply for a hardship payment instead, ask your local Jobcentre for a JSA10 form (or call 0800 328 9344 if you are claiming Universal Credit)
  • you're waiting for the first payment of a benefits claim - apply for an alignment payment called a short term advance instead by calling 0345 608 8545
  • you're a student - except in the case of a disaster such as flooding.

Additional criteria for community support awards

To get a community support award, you also need:

  • to have savings of less than £500 or less than £1,000 if you or your partner have reached the Pension Credit qualifying age
  • to be in receipt of qualifying benefits.

Qualifying benefits are:

  • Universal Credit (housing element included)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit.

Additional criteria for emergency support payments

To qualify for emergency support payments, you also must not have enough resources to meet your essential short-term needs in an emergency or after a disaster, such as a fire or flood.

You must have no other means of preventing serious risk to your health and safety or to the health and safety of a member of your family.

Please note - You don't need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit to get an emergency support payment.

How to apply

You can only apply for the emergency support scheme online. If you need help completing the form, call the Emergency Support Scheme team.

Apply online for the emergency support scheme

What happens next

The Council will assess your claim and decide if it can help you and if so, whether a community support award or emergency support payment would be most suitable.

How quickly you'll get help depends on what type of support you're awarded - emergency support payments are usually awarded on the same day while community support awards can take up to three weeks to be awarded.

If you're not happy with the decision

You can ask for a review of your decision if you're not happy with the decision on your claim.

You must do this in writing within one month of the date you get your decision notice. Write to the Emergency Support Scheme team.