Universal Credit Flexible Support Fund: Do you have to repay the Flexible Support Fund?

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The Universal Credit Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is a benefit payment available to individuals on Universal Credit who are facing financial hardship. This payment provides help for those who are out of work or on a low income. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain what the FSF is and whether you have to repay this monetary amount.

What is the Flexible Support Fund?

The Universal Credit FSF is a payment offered by local job centres as the discretion of Jobcentre Plus advisers.

This monetary payment is designed to offer assistance to those seeking work who are additionally claiming unemployment benefits.

The Flexible Support Fund was first launched in 2011 and is designed to replace similar schemes, such as the Deprived Areas Fund, the Adviser Discretion Fund and the Travel to Interview Scheme.

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This payment is intended to provide Jobcentre Plus sites to assist individuals seeking work.

The money can be used to cover the costs of:

  • Training for a job, up to £150
  • Travel to interviews
  • Childcare
  • Tools for work
  • Cost of medical evidence required by a disabled person
  • Clothing and uniforms to start work
  • Support for single parents in financial emergencies in the first 26 weeks of starting a job.

Who is eligible for FSF?

The eligibility requirements for FSF are not outlined in detailed terms as the fund is at the discretion of Jobcentre advisers.

The payment is entirely dependent on your local Jobcentre Plus adviser.

However, you must claim a qualifying benefit to be eligible.

The following qualifying benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit.

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How much can you get with the Flexible Support Fund?

There is no fixed amount or limit on the amount of money which can be given to individuals under the FSF.

The payment amount depends entirely on one’s circumstances, situation and needs.

There is only a specified limit on the amount which can be used for training for a job, which is up to £150.

Do you have to repay the Flexible Support Fund?

The FSF does not pay for anything you have already paid for.

Instead, it is to help with upcoming payments and costs associated with finding a job.

It is a grant rather than a loan so it does not need to be repaid.

How to apply for the Universal Credit Flexible Support Fund

The Universal Credit Flexible Support Fund is not an official benefit so there is not an official application process.

If you are interested in this payment and believe you may be eligible for this monetary amount, you should contact your Jobcentre Plus adviser to ask how you can apply.

They will likely ask you to justify why you need the money and you may be asked to give evidence that you cannot pay for these items yourself.

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