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

We aim to process claims for school uniform within 10 working days, however demand has been very high.

Currently claims are taking 15 to 20 working days to process, please do not contact us to chase a claim before this time.

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 or donations

You can apply for 1  emergency payment within 12 months. We may consider further applications in exceptional circumstances. 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

pdf Local crisis prevention fund policy (261 KB)

School uniforms

We'll be offering support with school uniforms to low income families, from 11 July 2022 to 9 October 2022.

Payments will be made in the form of supermarket vouchers to help with budgeting for uniforms.  They can be spent on:

  • food
  • school uniforms
  • shoes
  • stationery

Grant amounts are intended to support in part with the cost of the uniform, not cover it in full.

We aim to process claims within 10 working days.

If we get an application outside the above dates, we may still offer support to families that are experiencing a one-off financial crisis outside their control.

How to apply

Apply for an emergency payment

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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.

You'll be able to 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.