What an emergency payment is, who is eligible and how to apply

Emergency payments

Emergency payments are one off awards of supermarket vouchers that can be used to buy food, clothing and other essentials.  

You won't have to pay anything back.

You can apply if you:

  • live within the Bristol City Council area
  • have a one off financial crisis, such as your benefits not being paid or losing your job, that means you have no money for food
  • have no other means of support through family, friends, donations or budgeting

You can apply for 1  emergency payment within 12 months. We may consider further applications in exceptional circumstances, such as a house fire.  If you make repeat applications, we'll refer you to other services such as money or debt advice. 

Whether we make a payment depends on the information you give us in your application, so make sure you answer all questions and give as much detail as possible.

We don't:

  • make cash payments
  • cover moving costs, travel expenses or rent
  • help with ongoing situations such as struggling with debts or cost of living increases

This is not a full list and our support can change because of changes in demand and our budget.

pdf Local crisis prevention fund policy (234 KB)

School uniforms

We're not offering help with school uniform this year.

During the pandemic we received extra financial support that enabled us to offer help with uniform. However, our budget has now reduced and we're no longer able to do so.

If you're struggling to afford school uniform, contact your child's school or:

To help reduce the cost of uniform you may wish to consider second hand options. Facebook Market place and groups, Ebay, Gumtree and local charity shops are all good resources.

How to apply

Apply for an emergency payment

You will need to switch off pop up blocker on your device to use.

You may need to give evidence of your situation. We'll check details of your claim with the Department of Work and Pensions and other council departments.

What happens next

If we get your application by 12noon we'll call, text or email by 5pm the same working day to tell you your application result.

If successful, we will send vouchers via email, text or post, or you can collect your payment from the Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street the next working day.  You'll need to bring ID.

Privacy statement

Read our privacy statement and our  pdf Local Crisis and Prevention Fund privacy notice (100 KB)  to see what we do with your personal information.