If you are a member and you are experiencing financial difficulties, whether due to coronavirus or other circumstances, There for You can offer you support, including one-off grants.
Winter Fuel Grant
The There for You Winter Fuel Grant programme for 2021 opens on Monday 25 January. For this year only, grants of up to £200 will be available to help UNISON members with fuel bills this winter.
Members whose income is less than £18,200 (if living alone) or £26,000 (for a family) can apply. Applications will also be accepted from members in receipt of either Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or Council Tax reduction.
Online applications will open here on 25 January (with a downloadable form also available) so please save the date.
COVID-19 response fund
The COVID-19 response fund reopened on Monday 16 November, offering grants of up to £500 to help members whose household incomes have been affected in any of the following ways:
- You and/or your partner are currently furloughed
- You and/or your partner are currently receiving Statutory Sick Pay and are either shielding, self-isolating or off sick due to other COVID-related reasons
- You and/or your partner have been made redundant or lost your job due to coronavirus
- You and/or your partner’s employer have reduced your working hours, including loss of regular overtime (applicable also where partner is self-employed and loss of earnings can be proven)
Please note that applicants must be a UNISON member with savings of less than £2,500 and have paid at least two months’ subscriptions.
We want to make this fund go as far as possible and help as many members as we can. Therefore please only apply if you are in financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.
Depending on your situation, help will be awarded as follows:
- £350 living costs for applicants who are furloughed or have a salary reduction due to COVID
- £500 loss of employment grant due to redundancy
- Up to £500 housing costs grant – towards rent, mortgage, or council tax arrears that have accrued since March 2020
In addition to There for You funds, we are very grateful to have received generous grants from UNISON and CHSA (the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal) which enable us to support members who are struggling at this time.
You can also download an application form to print and post back to us. Details are on the form.
Other financial assistance
You may have financial difficulties for all sorts of unexpected reasons, such as:
- Loss of income;
- Relationship breakdown;
- Suffering from a long illness;
- Needing to buy equipment because of a disability;
- Caring for someone with special needs or an illness.
What we can help with
There for You is proud to support thousands of members and their families every year with things such as:
- general living costs
- household appliances
- urgent repairs
- disability equipment and adaptations
- utility bills
- funeral costs.
To be eligible to apply for financial assistance, you must have been a member of UNISON for at least four weeks and up-to-date with your subscriptions. Also, that the financial difficulties that led you to apply occurred after you joined. Partners or dependants can also apply.
To apply, please download an application form, fill it out and return it to us along with scans, screenshots or photos of your supporting paperwork.
If you have difficulty completing the form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7121 5620 and leave a message with your contact details. We will be in touch as soon as possible to help you through the process.
UNISON benefits calculator
See what help is available from benefits if you’re affected by coronavirus, and make sure you’re getting all the help you’re eligible for with the UNISON Benefits Calculator.
Help with debt
Even a small change in circumstances can turn a manageable situation into a debt problem that may threaten your home or your family’s wellbeing. UNISON Debtline is a free, confidential debt advice service that can help you deal with all sorts of debt.