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Crisis and care awards

Crisis awards are for those in emergency or disaster situations to help them and their families with immediate needs.

Care awards help vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in their community.

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Our Discretionary Financial Assistance Policy explains the background to the awards. Our items excluded from crisis and care document lists the items not covered by the awards.

Extra help is available through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. The aim of the Covid Winter Grant Scheme is to provide extra help to low income households over the winter months helping them to keep warm and be able to buy enough food. If you do not have enough money to buy food, pay for your heating or purchase replacement essential items, this scheme may be able to help. You will need to apply using the Crisis and Care Application form, answering as many questions as you can. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme is NOT part of the Crisis and Care Scheme and this means that some of our usual restrictions for Crisis and Care Awards may not apply to all applications. If you are applying for help through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme please go to the bottom of this page where you will find our online application form. The fund is limited and may be available up to 31 March 2021.

To apply you must:

  • Be 16 or over
  • Be in an emergency or disaster situation.  An emergency is where you need immediate help to avoid serious damage or risk. This is to your or your family’s health and safety due to unexpected or unplanned events.  A disaster could include a fire or flood.
  • Be able to prove you need help
  • Live in Cornwall and have a local connection

You can’t apply for a crisis award if you:

  • Have had more than £1,500 through the scheme in the last 12 months
  • Have already had financial help from somewhere else (unless it wasn’t enough to meet your immediate need)
  • Are in hospital or a care home
  • Are a prisoner
  • Aren’t a UK resident
  • Can’t receive jobseeker’s allowance due to a dispute

You will need to tell us:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • About your income (and your partner's if you have one)
  • About any savings you have (and your partner's if you have one)
  • The money you pay out (and your partner's if you have one)
  • About your health and any medical circumstances or disabilities that you have
  • Why you need a crisis or care award

To apply you must:

  • Live in Cornwall or have a local connection
  • Be able to prove you need help and let us carry out checks if needed
  • Receive a qualifying benefit, including:
    • income support
    • income based jobseeker’s allowance
    • pension credit
    • income related employment and support allowance
    • maximum entitlement to Universal Credit
  • Have had less than £1,500 from the scheme in the last 12 months

You must also show you need the award to:

  • Help you, or someone in your family, or someone you care for, to leave a care home or residential accommodation to return to live in the community
  • Help you, or someone in your family, or someone you care for, to remain in the community rather than move into a care home or residential accommodation
  • Help you to set up home in the community and have a more settled way of life
  • Allow you, or your partner, to care for a prisoner or young offender on temporary release
  • Help you, or someone in your family, with travel costs to visit someone who is ill, attend a relative’s funeral or help with a family crisis

You can’t apply for a care award if you:

  • Can’t receive jobseeker’s allowance
  • Are subject to immigration control
  • Aren’t a UK resident

We can give crisis and care awards of up to £1,500.  The amount of help we give you will depend on your circumstances.

We will usually buy the goods and services you need and have them sent to you.  The things we provide may not be new, but they will meet current safety rules.  In rare cases we may give you a voucher that you can exchange for money at the post office.

We will expect you to work with us to find long term solutions to your financial situation.

Please read this page to check that you are eligible before making your application.

If you are unable to complete this form yourself, someone else can do this on your behalf.

Crisis and care application form

Alternatively you can call our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121 and choose option 2. We’ll give you an appointment for an advisor to ring you back to complete the claim, or you can email

We’ll look at your application and write to tell you about our decision. Our letter will tell you the reason for our decision and what to do if you’re not happy with it.