Apply for Crisis Assistance for food and fuel

Crisis payments are awarded to cover short-term needs which prevent serious risk to the health and safety of a person or their family. The payments are intended to meet one-off needs rather than on-going expenses.

Crisis Assistance

Crisis Assistance provides support by way of supermarket vouchers that can be used for groceries and fuel vouchers for pre-payment meters.

To be eligible for Crisis Assistance you must:

  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Be in receipt of an out of work or disability benefit or be out of work and awaiting an initial decision on entitlement to a qualifying out of work or disability benefit (If claiming or in receipt of Universal Credit this must be due to being out of work)
  • Consideration can be given to low income working households in receipt of either Tax Credits or Universal Credit – the household’s earned income must be below the London Living Wage (£10.85 per hour)
  • Not have access to any funds that can be relied on to meet the need you are applying for, and where you would be left with insufficient resources which would cause serious risk to your own, or your family’s, health or safety
  • Not have had your benefit entitlement suspended or sanctioned by the DWP, unless exceptional circumstances apply
  • Be ordinarily resident in the Borough of Wandsworth and have lived in the Borough for six weeks prior to applying and are expected to be resident in the Borough after receipt of the award. Except where you have moved into the Borough due to an emergency such as fleeing domestic violence, prison discharge or leaving care.
  • If resident in Temporary Accommodation provided by Wandsworth Council in or out of the borough.  If placed in Temporary Accommodation within Wandsworth by another Council, then requests for Crisis Assistance should be made to the placing authority.

People with No Recourse to Public Funds

The WDSF (Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund) is part funded through Government grants that are not considered ‘Public Funds’ therefore it is available to households who have no recourse to public funds.  In such cases the household will need to demonstrate the ‘crisis’ which has meant they need one off support from the scheme.

Number of Awards

 Households will be eligible to apply for 1 award in the 3-month period between April 2021 – June 2021. In addition, Households can apply for a further 2 awards in the 9-month period between July 2021 – March 2022. Any awards made will be at least 6 weeks apart and subject to a maximum of 3 awards in the 12-month period April 2021 – March 2022.

Awards will be calculated using the following table:

Level of Awards

Household Type

Weekly Award

Single Person


Lone Parent




Dependant Child


Up to a maximum weekly award of £200.

Fuel Allowance

An additional allowance is payable for fuel where the household has a pre-paid meter:

Couple without Children/Single People: £ 20 (£10 Gas + £10 Electricity)

Households with children: £40 (£20 Gas + £20 Electricity)

If your fuel supply does not accept Paypoint fuel vouchers (e.g. British Gas) the fuel allowance will be made up in additional supermarket vouchers.

The scheme is administered to a fixed budget and the terms of the scheme could change during the year.


Apply for Crisis Assistance

We will process your application and notify you of the outcome, usually within 24 to 48 hours.

Get help with your application

Residents who need help to apply for a Discretionary grant can contact Citizens Advice Wandsworth (CAW) advisers by calling 020 4529 0674 (freephone) between 10am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday (messages can be left during these times).

Advisers will help people make an online application, and will also provide support with any debt, benefit, housing or employment issues which might be causing hardship. CAW services are all confidential and independent.