Local support

A list of schemes and support available specifically in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. This page has information on financial support available across the country. There may be further local support available depending on your area.
local support cost of living



The Department for Work and Pension (DWP)’s Household Support Fund has been extended to March 2024 to help people in immediate financial hardship to pay for essentials. This is the fourth phase of the Household Support Fund - it covers the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

Your local council is responsible for distributing the Household Support Fund and applications must be made directly to the council. Your local council website will have more information on whether they are currently taking applications and how to apply if so. If you don’t know how to contact your local council, you can find their contact details online.  



Grants may be available through the Scottish Welfare Fund. You must be 16 or older and on a low income or receiving certain benefits to apply for a grant. This includes a Crisis Grant and a Community Care Grant.

The Crisis Grant is a one-off ‘discretionary grant’ provided by local councils and is available to people on a low income who find themselves in an emergency and need help with covering costs. Find more information on Crisis Grants and examples of what you can get. 



The Discretionary Assistance Fund is available across Wales and provides two types of grants – Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) and Individual Assistance Payment (IAP). 

The Emergency Assistance Payment is to help pay for essentials costs such as food, gas, electricity and clothing if you are experiencing extreme financial hardship, have lost your job, or are awaiting your first benefits payment. 

The Individual Assistance Payment is to help you or someone you care for begin to, or continue to, live independently in their home. The grant can be used for white goods or home furniture. 

Find more information on both grants, as well as your eligibility, and how to apply.  


Northern Ireland 

If you are in an extreme situation or in a crisis, you can apply for Discretionary Support. This is offered as either an interest-free loan or grant that does not have to be paid back. Whether you are awarded a loan or a grant is dependent on your circumstances and potentially those of your immediate family. 

Discretionary Support can cover the following: 

  • short-term living expenses like food 
  • cost of buying, repairing, or replacing basic household items 
  • rent you must pay in advance to a landlord (excluding the Northern Ireland Housing Executive). 

Find out more about eligibility and where to apply.  


Here for you 

If you have further questions about the cost of living, how it is impacting you, and what help is available in your area, the Information, Advocacy and Care team are available on 0800 652 6352 or info@musculardystrophyuk.org to offer information and support. If they can’t help you, they are more than happy to signpost you to local services close to you, or to other people who can help.