Get emergency help with food, energy bills and other essentials

If you need extra help to get essentials you can't live without, our Local Discretionary Social Fund could help

The Local Discretionary Social Fund can provide help with:

  • buying food and groceries
  • paying for gas and electricity if you pay for it by key card or meter
  • essential items you need to live in your home such as beds, cookers or fridges
  • other support you may need in an emergency  

The fund doesn't provide cash, we'll give you vouchers instead, or find another way to help you access emergency food.

Applying for help

To get emergency help or essential items you must:

  • live in Brighton & Hove
  • be eligible for benefits or tax credits or Council Tax reduction
  • fit one of the circumstances below:
  1. you are leaving a place of care, prison or temporary supported housing and need help establishing a home
  2. without the items you apply for, you would not be able to remain living independently without the need of formal care
  3. you have a need that has come as a result of an emergency or disaster and you or a family member will be at risk if this need is not met
  4. you need help to pay for essentials you can't live without this winter

We'll review your application once we've received all of your information.

We'll find the best way to help you, which may include referring you to an agency for budgeting or debt advice.  

Contact us

For more information or to ask a question about your application, you can contact our Discretionary Help and Advice team by:

We're changing our phone line opening times

Our phone line are currently open from 9:30am to 1:30pm.

We've received an exceptionally high volume of applications for the Local Discretionary Social Fund. This means that it's taking the team longer than usual to process requests.  

Due to this, we're also getting more phone calls than normal.

To ensure our officers spend time processing requests, we changed our phone line opening times from 1 May 2023.

We're processing applications as quickly as we can, so please avoid calling the service to check the status of your application. We'll contact you as soon as we have a decision about your claim.