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York Financial Assistance Scheme

York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS) provides help to York residents who are facing financial difficulties or emergency situations.

YFAS offers 2 types of assistance.

Emergency Assistance helps people following an emergency or unforeseen event.

Community Assistance supports vulnerable adults to move into or remain in the community.

How support is provided

The YFAS scheme supports:

  • people who need urgent help, following an emergency or unforeseen event
  • vulnerable adults to move into or remain in the community.

It is means tested and you must have no other form of help. An award is not guaranteed.

Emergency Assistance and Community Assistance is awarded in the form of goods, vouchers or services. Cash is only available in exceptional circumstances.

The scheme is open to all York residents. Applications will be considered by looking at your individual financial circumstances.

YFAS can provide:

  • goods
  • services
  • gas and electricity top-ups
  • supermarket vouchers

Emergency cash payments are only available in exceptional circumstances, when support cannot be provided by direct assistance.

YFAS awards items on the basis of need, and for essential items only. YFAS may not be able to assist with all items requested.

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Eligibility criteria

YFAS applications can be considered for City of York residents who are over 16 years of age and have recourse to public funds (which applies if you have moved to the UK from another country), who have an emergency or need assistance to move into or remain in the community and have no other form of help.

To be considered you must be receiving one of these benefits:

  • Housing Benefit and / or Local Council Tax Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support, or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Pension Credit
  • Or a payment on account of one of them (or about to get any of them on leaving an institution or residential accommodation in which you have received care)

Or one or more of the following must apply:

  • you are fleeing domestic abuse.
  • your home has been affected by a disaster or an emergency.
  • your DWP benefit has been sanctioned and you can provide evidence that you are formally challenging this decision.
  • you have income of less than £23,400* per annum (*this figure is based on the Living Wage)

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Exception to eligibility

If you are applying following a disaster and your income is above the income limit, assessment will be based on your individual financial circumstances and your application will be considered on its own merits.

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Emergency Assistance

Emergency Assistance provides help to cover immediate short-term needs.

Applications will be considered for:

  • food vouchers or fuel costs
  • exceptional travel expenses, for example to attend the funeral of a close relative, or visiting a relative in hospital who has suddenly been taken ill or whose condition suddenly deteriorates
  • loss of possessions or property following a disaster, an event of great or sudden misfortune which normally results in significant damage to, destruction or loss of, possessions or property and your losses are not covered by insurance. A disaster could be flooding, gas explosion, chemical leak or a fire

If your DWP benefit has been sanctioned (stopped/ reduced) and are challenging the decision by a reconsideration or appeal, you will be eligible to apply for emergency food vouchers and fuel top-ups.

Essential clothing may be provided if you have been released from prison, fled domestic abuse and had to leave your clothes behind, or you have secured accommodation after being street homeless.

School clothing is covered by another council scheme. See details of how to get assistance with school uniform costs.

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Community Assistance

Community Assistance supports vulnerable people to move into or remain in the community. It is means tested and you must have no other form of help.

Vulnerable people could include:

  • carers
  • people who are experiencing greater than the normal range of pressures experienced by most people, or there has been a significant unfortunate event that makes their situation extraordinary
  • people moving out of institutional, residential care, or supported accommodation into the community
  • people setting up home as part of a planned programme of resettlement
  • young people leaving care
  • ex-offenders leaving prison or detention centres
  • people with learning or physical disabilities
  • people with mental health problems
  • people who have a drug or alcohol dependency
  • homeless people, rough sleepers or those at risk of homelessness
  • people facing or fleeing domestic abuse

Community Assistance provides help with basic necessities. Applications can be considered for:

  • beds
  • cookers, fridges and washing machines (property must have existing connection)
  • basic furniture - for example, a wardrobe or sofa
  • essential repairs
  • other items on the basis of need, for example, a vacuum cleaner because the applicant is asthmatic

We will provide goods, vouchers or services. Goods will be delivered to your home; in the room they have been purchased for. Cookers and washing machines will be installed. Cash awards are not payable other than in exceptional circumstances.

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Before making a YFAS application

Check whether you're eligible for emergency assistance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before applying for YFAS support.

Options include:

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Make a YFAS application

In your application you will need to detail what support you and/or your family need, why you need it and the emergency or exceptional circumstances.

You will need to provide details of your household and income, including supporting documents for evidence.

Use these Citizens Advice resources to help you list your income and expenses for your application:

Complete an online YFAS form

Upload your completed budget sheet as a PDF to support your application.

You can send your budget sheet as a PDF separately to YFAS (if you prefer), either:

Help to apply

If you are unable to complete the form online, telephone: 0808 168 5238 (free from a landline). Please have all the information about your income, outgoings and the support you need with you when you call.

You can also contact a local advice and support service to get benefits advice and help with your application.

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Decision reviews

You have the right to a review if you are unhappy with our decision. The decision will be looked at again by someone who did not make the original decision. Where the council cannot help it will provide you with information about other agencies that may be able to help and where appropriate, make a referral on your behalf.

Review requests can be made by email: or by post to:

City of York Council
West Offices
Station Rise

If you remain unhappy you can use the council’s complaints process. See details of how to raise a comment, compliment, complaint or concern.

Separate help with paying rent is available through Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) and support for customers having difficulties in paying their Council Tax is available through Council Tax Support and Discretionary Council Tax Reduction.

YFAS was introduced in 2013 – see the full York Financial Assistance Scheme Criteria.

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Also see


West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551556