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Crisis and Care awards

Crisis awards are for those in emergency or disaster situations to help them and their families with immediate needs.

Care awards help vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in their community.

Who can apply for a crisis award?

To apply you must:

  • Be 16 or over
  • Be in an emergency or disaster situation.  An emergency is where you need immediate help to avoid serious damage or risk. This is to your or your family’s health and safety due to unexpected or unplanned events.  A disaster could include a fire or flood.
  • Be able to prove you need help
  • Live in Cornwall and have a local connection

You can’t apply for a crisis award if you:

  • Have had more than £1,500 through the scheme in the last 12 months
  • Have already had financial help from somewhere else (unless it wasn’t enough to meet your immediate need)
  • Are in hospital or a care home
  • Are a prisoner
  • Aren’t a UK resident
  • Can’t receive jobseeker’s allowance due to a dispute

What to tell us

You will need to tell us:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • About your income (and your partner's if you have one)
  • About any savings you have (and your partner's if you have one)
  • The money you pay out (and your partner's if you have one)
  • About your health and any medical circumstances or disabilities that you have
  • Why you need a crisis or care award

Who can apply for a care award?

To apply you must:

  • Live in Cornwall or have a local connection
  • Be able to prove you need help and let us carry out checks if needed
  • Receive a qualifying benefit, including:
    • income support
    • income based jobseeker’s allowance
    • pension credit
    • income related employment and support allowance
    • maximum entitlement to Universal Credit
  • Have had less than £1,500 from the scheme in the last 12 months

You must also show you need the award to:

  • Help you, or someone in your family, or someone you care for, to leave a care home or residential accommodation to return to live in the community
  • Help you, or someone in your family, or someone you care for, to remain in the community rather than move into a care home or residential accommodation
  • Help you to set up home in the community and have a more settled way of life
  • Allow you, or your partner, to care for a prisoner or young offender on temporary release
  • Help you, or someone in your family, with travel costs to visit someone who is ill, attend a relative’s funeral or help with a family crisis

You can’t apply for a care award if you:

  • Can’t receive jobseeker’s allowance
  • Are subject to immigration control
  • Aren’t a UK resident

How much help can I get?

We can give crisis and care awards of up to £1,500.  The amount of help we give you will depend on your circumstances.

We will usually buy the goods and services you need and have them sent to you.  The things we provide may not be new, but they will meet current safety rules.  In rare cases we may give you a voucher that you can exchange for money at the post office.

We will expect you to work with us to find long term solutions to your financial situation.

How do I apply?

Please read this page to check that you are eligible before making your application.

If you are unable to complete this form yourself, someone else can do this on your behalf.

Crisis and care application form

Or call our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121 and choose option 2. We’ll give you an appointment for an advisor to ring you back to complete the claim, or you can email

We’ll look at your application and write to tell you about our decision. Our letter will tell you the reason for our decision and what to do if you’re not happy with it.

Our Discretionary Financial Assistance Policy explains the background to the awards. 

Read the Discretionary Financial Assistance Policy

Items excluded from crisis and care are listed in the document below.

Items excluded from crisis and care

Please note; if all your regular income is in payment we would not normally consider an application unless there has been an unexpected event or crisis.  In these cases we will require your latest, one month’s full bank statement and we may be able to help with a short term need for food and utilities.

The scheme does not have the provision to replace broken white goods or furniture.

Organisations that may be able to help 

Turn 2 Us

to see if there are any grants you might be able to apply for, visit the

Turn 2 Us website 

you can make specific requests for items that you need in the hope that someone is giving one away in your area.

Free Cycle website

Online selling sites - people are often selling furniture/white goods second hand at more affordable prices than new.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

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