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A number of benefits are offered by the Government for people struggling with unemployment. But depending on what benefits someone is claiming, people who are looking for work may also be able to find additional help by contacting their local JobCentre about the Flexible Support Fund.
What is the Flexible Support Fund?
The Flexible Support Fund is offered by the JobCentre to people claiming certain benefits, and it is intended to help people successfully find a job.
Payments from the fund are given alongside any other benefits you may be receiving.
But unlike most benefits, the Flexible Support Fund is offered by your local JobCentre directly rather than the Government.
The Government allocates money to local JobCentres for the Flexible Support Fund, and it is at the discretion of your local JobCentre to allocate the funding to people being supported by the service.
The Flexible Support Fund was established in 2011, and it replaced a number of previous schemes intended to help people back into work.
Flexible Support Fund money can be used to help cover certain costs, such as childcare.
The fund can also be used for other things related to finding a job, such as travel expenses, tools for work or clothing.
People claiming Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Pension Credit may be eligible for assistance from the fund.
Anyone who wants to claim from the fund should be able to apply through their local JobCentre.
According to Turn2Us, you will need to tell your JobCentre adviser what you need the money for when you apply.
You will also need to give evidence that you are unable to pay for items yourself.
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How much can you get from the Flexible Support Fund?
There is not a set amount you can receive from the Flexible Support Fund.
According to Turn2Us, the amount claimants receive depends on their “situation, circumstances and needs”.
Ultimately the JobCentre will decide whether you can get any money from the fund, as you are not automatically entitled to the funding.
Unlike a Universal Credit advance or a Budgeting Advance, you do not need to pay back the money you receive from the fund as it is a grant, not a loan.
However the money has to be spent on things to help you successfully find a job.
The JobCentre allocating the money may check exactly what the money has been used for.
You are also unlikely to get any money back from the fund for items you have already purchased.
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