Thousands on Universal Credit missing out on little-known scheme to get free cash for travel and childcare


Vulnerable people whose financial hardship is preventing them from getting jobs may be entitled to some extra cash from the Flexible Support Fund.

money is issued on top of another benefits and can be used to help cover the cost of things such as in child careUniforms, or work equipment as long as they help you get the job done.


Families who need assistance can get help under the Flexible Support Fundcredit: Alamy

Additional financial support may come at a critical time for many families across the UK amid a cost of living crisis.

energy Bills In recent months, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a massive aid package for millions of families last month,

However, there is a Flexible Support Fund (FSF) for those who may need additional support.

What is Flexible Support Fund?

The FSF is a government fund introduced in 2011 and is regulated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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It replaced the interview scheme with other initiatives such as the Deprived Area Fund, the Advisory Vivek Fund and the Yatra.

Government funding is offered by the local JobCenter at the discretion of JobCenter Plus consultants. It is considered for those receiving unemployment benefits to get employment.

The cash amount given to you is a grant so there is no need to repay it. This is different from Universal Credit, which is a loan that you have to repay through your benefits.

Even though it has been around for 11 years, not much is known about the fund now.

That’s because it should only be released when all other assistance has been exhausted – but that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to it.

Who can get Flexible Support Fund?

FSF is available to all those who are already getting help from JobCenter and claiming any of the below benefits,

  • universal credit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • carer’s allowance
  • pension credit

FSF can also be used to assist anyone eligible for job readiness assistance, such as single parents, partners, and carers.

Advisors may be able to allocate funds to support other unemployed people with whom they are working depending on the circumstances.

If you are claiming universal creditYou may also be able to get help from the FSF for the first month of childcare costs.

What costs can the FSF help with?

The purpose of the FSF is to help with the additional costs associated with finding a job, including:

  • travel Expense
  • training course
  • clothes for interview

There is no fixed amount to be given to you as it depends on your situation, circumstances and needs.

The FSF is unlikely to fund anything you’ve already paid for.

How can I apply?

If you think you may be eligible for FSF, you should contact your local JobCenter.

You can locate your nearest job center by using Department of Work and Pensions hearing aid,

Unfortunately, claimants do not have an automatic right to seek assistance as it is at the discretion of the JobCenter Consultant.

Before issuing cash, advisors need to see proof that you can’t actually pay for the items yourself.

You need to tell them specifically what you will be spending the cash on.

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The advisor will also need to obtain approval from a colleague, who will also check through the evidence you have provided.

If you cannot provide sufficient evidence for your meeting, you will be advised to contact Universal Credit when you do.

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