Advice: ‘Can I get financial help to purchase household items?’

Pat Hutchinson MBE.
Pat Hutchinson MBE.

By Pat Hutchinson MBE, District Manager, Newtownabbey CAB

Q: I am a single mum with a long-term disability and am on income support. My long-term relationship has broken down and I have had to move. I need a new bed and some other household items. Can I get any help to purchase these? I do not have any savings.

A: You can apply for a Community Care Grant if you are:

• already getting Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, State Pension Credit, or payment on account of one of these benefits... and any one of the following applies:

• you’re moving out of residential or institutional care to live independently

• you’re moving to a new home which will be more suitable for you following an unsettled period in your life and are being resettled by an organisation like the Simon Community, Women’s Aid, Salvation Army, Extern or Edward Street Hostel

• you need help to stay in your home and not go into residential care or hospital

• you need help because you or your family face exceptional pressure, such as family breakdown or because one of you has a long-term illness

• you look after someone who is ill, or disabled, or has been released from custody on temporary licence

• you need help with expenses such as visiting someone who is ill, or to attend a relative’s funeral.

Community Care Grants are discretionary but do not have to be paid back. If you are turned down you have 28 days to ask for a review. We can assist you with the review letter.

Any Community Care Grant will be reduced, on a pound for pound basis, by any savings you or your partner have over £500 (£1,000 if you and/or your partner are aged 62 or over).

It looks like you could be eligible for some help; please call at the bureau for help to complete the Community Care Grant form.

• Get free, confidential and independent advice from your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau or log on to Call Newtownabbey CAB, Dunanney Centre, Rathcoole on 028 9085 2271 or email