Emergency support scheme

The council has a very limited fund to provide help to Knowsley residents with food and/or fuel in an emergency situation that is unforeseen, or which could not have been avoided, or where there is a potential risk to the health and safety of you or your family.

Our scheme may be able to provide some support for essential items of furniture / white goods in very specific circumstances where the resident has suffered a
major upheaval.

Please be aware that we do not provide cash under any circumstances.

Before you apply for emergency support you need to:

  • Check if you can get support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), if you are claiming one of the qualifying benefits listed below

The council’s scheme will not duplicate any support that the DWP still provides. Read the details below to see if you need to contact the DWP first. 

Services provided by the DWP and Jobcentre Plus:

  1. Short term benefit advances, for new benefit applicants or existing claims where there is a significant change of circumstance. If you have recently applied for benefit you can apply for a short term benefit advance.  Visit GOV.UK for more information.
  2. Budgeting loans, to help pay for essential items. You can find out more online or pick up an application form from your local Jobcentre Plus.
  3. Hardship payments for those who have received a benefit sanction. To claim hardship payments you will need to complete form JSA ESA10JP at your local Jobcentre Plus office, or call 0800 169 0310.
Contact your energy supplier about options to clear outstanding debts; reduce weekly debt repayments; or to get a credit on your meter to repay it on a weekly basis.  The contact details and support available should be shown on your latest bill.  If you do not have a bill visit their website, the main suppliers who offer pre-payment meters are listed below:  

Find out more about the other financial advice and support available to you.

How to apply for emergency support

If you are in an emergency situation and need help with food – our scheme can provide you with a voucher for Knowsley Food Support.  If you have a support worker or you are receiving support from a local agency, please speak to them in the first instance.  If you do not have a support worker or the local agency can’t help you, please ring Knowsley Food Support direct on 0151 538 8243. Their phone line is open Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.30pm.
If you are in an emergency situation and need help with fuel - to be considered for support under our scheme, you must:-

  •  Be responsible for paying the electric and/or gas bill at the property and have a pre-payment meter; and,
  • Have exhausted all other possible sources of support; and,
  • Be in receipt of (or waiting for) one of the following benefits

- Income support
- Jobseeker’s allowance – income-based
- Employment and support allowance – income-related
- Pension credit
- Universal credit
- Housing benefit and/or council tax reduction

If you think you may be eligible for emergency fuel support, you need to apply online:-

  • Through our customer portal - register for online services or log into your account here.
    You must have a council tax account number, or a housing benefit/council tax reduction claim reference number to register your application via our customer portal. 
  • Via our website – go to Online Services and ‘Apply for it’ or click here.
  • If you do not have access to your own computer you can:-

- Use a public computer in any of our One Stop Shops or libraries. Click on the links to find your nearest venue and opening times; or
- Ask family, friends or neighbours to help you make an online claim; or
- Ask your support worker, or any other agency you are working with, to help you make an online claim and/or help you to improve your IT skills. Find local courses near you

  • If you cannot apply online, you can ring our contact centre on 0151 443 3200 and one of our advisors will take your application over the phone.  Lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.  

If you make an online application out of office hours we can only consider your application on the next available working day.
You will be informed of our decision by email or text message within one working day.

If you do not have your own email address you can ask us to email the decision to somebody else who may be helping you, but you need to agree this with them. In exceptional circumstances, you can ask to collect your decision from your local One Stop Shop, or we can send it to you by first class post.  You can tell us this when you complete your application.
If your application is successful you will receive a Paypoint voucher for a set amount which you can take to your nearest Paypoint venue. You will need to provide proof of your identity and address, along with your electric/gas key or card when you redeem your voucher. You can print the voucher or present it on your mobile phone.  Find your nearest Paypoint venue.

Whether we can help you or not, we will signpost you to other support that may be available to help you to put plans in place to overcome the emergency, or to try to stop it happening again in the future.
We can consider a maximum of two awards in a 12 month period. Each award is expected to last a minimum of three days.

If you still need help after three days you must re-apply. We can consider up to a maximum of nine days support per award. Each award is based on your circumstances and is not guaranteed. Once you have reached your maximum award you will no longer be eligible for support under the scheme.

Request a review if you are refused

If you think our decision to refuse food and / or fuel is wrong you can ask for a review. 
We cannot review your claim if you do not meet our scheme criteria

You can ask for a review for fuel via our customer portal (you must register first or log in), our website, or by telephone - 0151 443 3200.

You will need your application number and the date you applied and tell us why you think our decision is wrong.  We will inform you of our decision in the same way as the original decision, within one working day.
If you do not agree with the decision to refuse food, please ring Knowsley Food Support direct on 0151 538 8243.

If you are experiencing an upheaval

The scheme may also support you if you need furniture / white goods to help you settle back in to the community under specific circumstances, or to avoid you having to enter institutional care.
For example:

  • If you are leaving care, leaving prison, fleeing domestic violence,  homeless and leaving Local Authority temporary accommodation
  • If you are at risk of going into institutional care, where the essential item/s would prevent you going into care

Please note: This does not include aids and adaptations or other items which would normally be provided from other sources of funding/support.

Our scheme does do not provide replacement items for broken or damaged furniture/white goods.

If you have been receiving one of the DWP benefits listed above for six months or more, before we will consider an application for support with furniture / white goods, you must have previously applied for, and been refused, support from the DWP through Budgeting Loans/Budgeting Advance (please visit www.gov.uk/budgeting-loans/). You will be asked for the original copy of the budgeting loan/advance refusal letter before proceeding with your Emergency Support Scheme application.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted via your support worker, such as a social worker or probation officer. If you do not have a support worker, we may consider a direct claim from you.

Please ring 0151 443 3200 to submit an expression of interest for support. A member of staff will ring you back to complete a telephone interview for more information before a decision is made.
Our target is to deal with your request within 14 days. 

If you are eligible for support with essential items please be aware these could be reconditioned or second hand. There is a limit to the value of support that you can receive in a 3 year period.  Once you have reached this limit you will no longer be able to apply.
If we cannot help you, we will do our best to signpost you to somewhere we think can help. Alternatively, use this link to find out more about the other financial advice and support available to you.