For individuals and households that are on a low income and need help with some important financial costs it is possible to borrow up to £1,500 tax free from the Social Fund. This emergency loan is known as a budgeting loan and is typically made available for costs such as furniture, advance rent, or costs associated with finding or starting a new job. You will usually be given up to 104 weeks to repay the money and you will have to show that you have a means of making these repayments before you are accepted for a DWP budgeting loan. Please visit the official DWP website for more information.
call 0800 055 6688 (8am – 6pm Monday to Friday).
Using The Funds
A job centre budgeting loan provides funds which are meant to be used for essential emergencies. For example, if you need to buy a new bed because your existing one has broken, or you need a new wardrobe for your son or daughter, then these will usually be considered acceptable uses for the money. Other possible uses for the loan include:
- Moving expenses
- Travel expenses
- Items to help you find work
- Costs to cover starting work
- Home improvements
- Maternity expenses
- Funeral expenses
- The repayment of hire purchase or other debts used to pay for these items
Job Centre Budgeting Loan Terms
You can borrow as little as £100 or as much as £1,500 although the actual figure you will be able to borrow will depend on a number of factors including whether you already owe money to the social fund. Your case will be assessed to ensure that you can make repayments and the assessor will consider joint applications as well as sole applications to come to the most appropriate decision.
How The Loan Is Paid To You
The money from a budgeting loan is paid directly into your account. This means that you will need to have a bank account, building society account, Post Office card account, or any of a number of other acceptable forms of bank or financial account.
How To Apply To The Social Fund
The budgeting loan itself comes from the JobCentre Plus or your pension centre. In order to apply for the loan you will need to complete an SF500 claim form which you can request from either the JobCentre Plus or your pension office. Alternatively, you can download one from the Department for Work and Pensions website. The form includes information on how to fill it in and the information that is requested in it. The form also includes information on where to send your completed application.
Appealing Your Loan Decision
Once you have submitted your claim form you should receive a response either accepting or rejecting your application. If you are unhappy with the decision or you have not been awarded the amount you believe you need, you can make a formal appeal to have the decision reconsidered. You should write to the JobCentre Plus within 28 days and you will receive a response within a further 12 days. Your appeal will be considered by an independent Social Fund Inspector and is designed to offer a fast and simple response to your enquiry.
DWP Budgeting Loans
A DWP or Job Centre budgeting loan is a beneficial form of loan that enables those on low income to be able to borrow up to £1,500. This money can be used for emergency purchases or to cover emergency costs and will usually need to be paid off, in full, over the course of up to 104 weeks. The money is paid directly into your account and your repayment figures will be agreed with you at the time of the loan application.