How to apply for free grants of up to £10,000 if you've recently lost your job

THOSE who've recently lost their job can get help to pay the bills through free grants worth up to £10,000.

There are around 8,000 charities and organisations in the UK that offer cash to help struggling workers who've been made redundant to make ends meet.

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Collectively, they have a yearly budget of around £3billion, according to debt charity Turn2Us, so there's always a place you can turn to for help.

Often, you're allowed to use the money to spend on whatever you need to, such as paying bills, helping with education costs or buying household appliances.

The payments aren't loans meaning you don't have to pay them back – the grants are designed to help you get out of debt not push you further into it.

How much a grant is worth depends on the charity or organisation that offers it but typically they're between £500 and £10,000.

What are my redundancy rights?

BEFORE making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you've been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you're entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You'll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won't be entitled to a payout if you've been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

For families that have recently been hit by unemployment brought on by the pandemic, it can be a life line.

Unemployment is expected to jump to 7.5 per cent – equal to 2.6million people – by the end of the year, according to The Bank of England.

How do I apply for a grant?

The first thing you need to do is find the right type of grant for you – some charities ring fence the cash for specific applicant, such as those who live in a certain area.

Turn2Us has a free grants search tool so you can find out what help put there is available to you.

There are 1,613 grant giving organisations listed on the site and you can narrow them down based on your gender, age, location, religion and health condition.

Once you've found a grant you want to apply for you can click on the "enquire online" button to find out more.

What to do if you have problems claiming Universal Credit

IF you're experiencing trouble applying for your Universal Credit, or the payments just don't cover costs, here are your options:

  • Apply for an advance – Claimants are able to get some cash within five days rather than waiting weeks for their first payment. But it's a loan which means the repayments will be automatically deducted from your future Universal Credit payout.
  • Alternative Payment Arrangements – If you're falling behind on rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will get your payment sent directly to your landlord. You might also be able to change your payments to get them more frequently, or you can split the payments if you're part of a couple.
  • Budgeting Advance – You may be able to get help from the Government for emergency household costs of up to £348 if you're single, £464 if you're part of a couple or £812 if you have children. These are only in cases like your cooker breaking down or for help getting a job. You'll have to repay the advance through your regular Universal Credit payments. You'll still have to repay the loan, even if you stop claiming for Universal Credit.
  • Cut your Council Tax – You might be able to get a discount on your Council Tax or be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments if your existing ones aren't enough to cover your rent.
  • Foodbanks – If you're really hard up and struggling to buy food and toiletries, you can find your local foodbank who will provide you with help for free. You can find your nearest one on the Trussell Trust website.

You'll need to be logged into your Turn2Us account to apply – if you don't have one it's free to sign up.

After you've followed the application process, which will include sending over some extra information about yourself, you can typically expect to hear back from the charity within two weeks.

What grants are available if you've recently lost your job?

How much you are able to claim depends on your circumstances and what the charity has budgeted for.

But these are the grants you should look out for if you're struggling financially due to recently losing your job.

Many of them are benevolent funds – or charitable organisations – related to specific industries, so make sure to include your profession when looking for a grant.

  • Turn2Us give grants to people who currently work or have previously worked in one of 300 professions, including nursing, teachers and social workers.
  • RetailTRUST gives grants to those who work or have previously worked in the retail industry.
  • Hospitality Action offers grants for those who work or worked in the hospitality sector, such as bar staff, waiters and kitchen employees.
  • The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) runs a Lifeline charity that offers grants to those who work or previously worked in parts of the travel industry associated with its membership, such as an ABTA accredited tour operator.

What other help can I get?

If you've recently lost your job you may be entitled to income support through Universal Credit.

Those out of work, aged 18 or over, under state pension age and with less than £16,000 in savings may be able to claim benefits.

There are a number of free benefit calculators that you can use to find out what you can get, such as GOV.UK, Turn2Us and Entitledto.

It's also worth checking if you can get help with bills from your local council or in the form of a government loan, and see if you're eligible for food banks.

If you don't qualify for benefits but you're worried about paying your mortgage, loan or rent, speak to your provider.

Mortgage providers, for example, are offering payment holidays while some lenders are also pausing repayments.

You should also consider turning to a free help organisation such as Citizens Advice or StepChange.

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