Essential Living Fund

About the Essential Living Fund

The Essential Living Fund (ELF) is extra help for vulnerable people to live independently.

People who can claim ELF

Anyone can make a claim. The fund is intended to help:

  • people live in the community after a stay in a care home, hostel or similar
  • people leaving prison and youth offender institutions
  • young people leaving council care
  • people stay at home instead of a care home or similar to get care
  • reduce exceptional pressures on people or their families
  • people set up home in the community after an unsettled way of life
  • people to care for a prisoner or young offender on temporary release
  • people who are unable to meet their needs in an emergency or after a disaster

What you can use the fund for

You can use the fund to buy:

  • furniture such as a bed, settee, armchair, wardrobe or table
  • furnishings such as carpets, curtains or bedding
  • 'white goods' such as a cooker, fridge or washing machine
  • household equipment such as cooking utensils and small electrical appliances
  • fuel connection or re-connection charges
  • clothing and footwear
  • general living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries, cleaning or hygiene products, money for pay-as-you-go fuel meters

How we make payment

If we agree to give you the funds, you will be paid through:

  • food vouchers
  • supermarket vouchers
  • AllPay cards
  • recycled furniture from a reputable charity
  • white goods from a reputable dealer

We don’t pay the grant in cash or into a bank account


You can apply for an Essential Living Fund online or by telephone.