Apply for an emergency payment or household goods

Apply for an emergency payment or household goods

If you're in a crisis, you can apply for an emergency payment or help with essential household items.

The amount we give towards emergency payments and household good items depends on: 

  • information you provide on your application
  • the kind of type of crisis situation you're in
  • your income and the number of people in your household

You can apply for an emergency payment generally once in a 12 month period and once in a 24 month period for household goods.  

There may be exceptional circumstances such as flood, fire, or if you're fleeing domestic violence, where we can support you with a second emergency payment. This is completely discretionary  and  evidence of your circumstances may be requested.

You can apply if you:

  • live within the Bristol City Council area
  • have a crisis or emergency meaning you have no money for basic living needs or need essential household items
  • have no other means of support through family, friends or donations

We can help with common crisis situations like:

  • financial crisis, such as having debts you can't pay off
  • helping you move home after you've been homeless
  • fleeing domestic violence
  • prison leavers
  • if you can’t manage finances due to learning difficulty or addiction

How to apply

Apply for an emergency payment or household goods

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You'll need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • a moving date if you're moving home soon
  • an email address, if you have one
  • a telephone number
  • your support worker’s contact details, if you have one

Help to fill in the form

If you have a support worker they may be able to help you fill in the form.

You can also drop into your local Citizen Service Point

Find out about organisations that can help you fill in the online form (pdf, 184KB) (opens new window)

What happens next

Emergency payments

If we get your application by 12noon we'll text or call by 4pm the same working day to tell you your application result.

Successful emergency payment claims are granted the next working day.  

Emergency payments are small amounts of monies given in the form of supermarket vouchers for Co-op stores and Tesco, or sometimes a pre-paid debit card.  

The money we provide you with, in whatever form must be used for the intended purpose and reasons you have given on your claim form

If we find you've spent the money in an inappropriate way, you'll have a permanent ban from benefitting from the service in the future.

You must collect these vouchers from our Temple Street Citizen Service Point, please bring ID with you.

In certain circumstances, if you're unable to collect it we can post it to you.

We don’t make cash payments.

Only in extreme circumstances will we be able to issue a same day payment.  

Household items

Applications for Household Goods are only taken online (see above).

If you've difficulty in using a computer, visit 100 Temple Street, where a member of staff will assist you to apply.  

We'll make a decision on whether your Household Goods claim is successful within 3 to 5 working days maximum.  We'll contact you by phone to discuss your claim.  

When a decision has been made we'll try to call and also send a letter to your home address to let you know the outcome of your claim.   

We'll most likely not be able to award you all of what you may ask for, so please do note on your claim what are the most important items for you to receive.  This can be done in the ‘notes’ section online.  

You should also refer to the ‘Other Help and Advice’ document we send you with alternative services you can apply to.

If you're successful, household items are usually a mixture of new and reconditioned items through our local suppliers including:  

  • beds and bunk-beds
  • gas and electric cookers 
  • fridges and fridge freezers, 
  • washing machine
  • kitchen starter pack that includes crockery, pots, pans, kettle and toaster

General enquiries

Email general enquiries to

Other help

You may be able to get extra help with your rent or moving costs by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Money advice

Keep track of your spending

There are free tools available to help you manage your money on the Money Advice Service website.

Your job coach can also refer you for free personal budget support.

Local advice centres

Find more advice centres on the Advice Network website.

If you’re a housing association tenant, your landlord may also be able to help.

Get money off your Council Tax

If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get a Council Tax Reduction