This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties?'.

 
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
e-mail: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.  
gov.uk
Annex A 
Our Re
 
f: VTR 1768
 
 

29/5/15
 
 

 
Dear JG Colgan, 
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 28 April 2015. You 
asked:  
 
In a recent television interview between the (current) Prime Minister (Mr D Cameron) 
and Mr David Marr, The PM stated there was a "Hardship Fund" available for claimants 
in severe financial difficulties. 

 
Please advise  
1: if this is a Central Gov't administered fund? 
2: What are the eligibility criteria? 
3 : Who is not allowed to claim this? 
4: Total number of applicants for the past 5 years. 
5: Total number of successful applicants during past 5 years 
6: Total number of unsuccessful applicants and sub grouped into totals of Reason for 
Rejection? 

 
Is there a similar hardship benefit administered by Local Councils and what are the 
qualifying criteria? 

 
There is no single central government ‘hardship fund’ as such – instead there are various 
sources of support depending on the claimant’s needs and circumstances that together offer 
help to those in ‘hardship’. Support includes: 
 
 Hardship 
payments 
 Hardship 
loans 
  Social Fund budgeting loans 
  The Regulated Social Fund – Cold weather payments, Funeral payments etc 
 UC 
Budgeting 
Advances 
 UC 
Benefit 
Advances 
  Legacy benefit Short Term Benefit Advances 
  Local Authority/Devolved Administration local support 
 
Since 2013 local authorities and the devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales have 
been responsible for providing local support for vulnerable people in their areas. Each area will 

have their own eligibility criteria so questions about the support provided should be directed to 
the relevant local authority and devolved administration.  
 
For hardship payments specifically, there is a centrally administered fund for Universal Credit, 
Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment Seeker’s Allowance (ESA). The detailed 
eligibility criteria are set out in the publically available links below:  
 
JSA: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/410846/dmgch3
5.pdf  
 
ESA: (para 53095 onwards) 
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/411107/dmgch5
3.pdf  
 
UC: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/372080/adml1.p
df  
 
Data on JSA awards was last published in September 2012 which stated "the number of 
hardship awards made between April 2011 and March 2012 was about 64,000" 
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/222972/hardshi
p_adhoc_2011_2012.pdf). A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 
during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015. 
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
DWP Central FoI Team 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
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