Emergency living support

Emergency Living Support (ELS) can be awarded to help people with something they need either

  • in an emergency or
  • because of a disaster.

And where the help needed

  • is not available from anywhere else and
  • is the only way to stop serious damage or risk to the health and safety of a person or their family.

An emergency is a sudden or unexpected situation that requires immediate attention.

An emergency is something unforeseen, an event that could not have been avoided or planned for.

Assistance will not be available in the following situations:

  • Your income has been suspended following Department for Work and Pensions direction eg. failure to attend medicals, work advisor interviews, training etc
  • You have not been able to save to pay a bill
  • You have not taken appropriate care of your belongings or money.

A disaster is a sudden, significant event causing damage or hardship e.g. flood, explosion or fire.

What can I get help with?

An award may assist with an essential item or to meet immediate living expenses.

Any award made will be for the smallest amount needed to remove the crisis or alleviate need until your next regular income is available.

Some items are excluded under our local scheme rules: PDFEmergency Living Support: Items Excluded [PDF 60KB].

How will you pay me?

No cash will be paid. Vouchers for local supermarkets will be given to meet living expenses.

If you need help with items, such as a cooker or furniture we will let you know how much we can award. You will then be asked to choose where you want to buy the item from and we will order and pay for this for you.

Can I claim ELS?

You do not need to be receiving benefits to apply for ELS. Anyone living in Calderdale aged 16 or over can apply for an ELS award.

If you do not normally live in Calderdale but need help to return home then we may be able to help you.

However some people, in certain circumstances, cannot receive an ELS award: PDFEmergency Living Support: Items Excluded [PDF 37KB].

Please note that we will only make a maximum of two ELS awards in a 12 month period.

How do you decide if ELS can be awarded?

We look at everything that you have told us:

  • What help you need
  • Whether you have asked for something we cannot help with
  • The kind of crisis you are in
  • Whether a award will stop serious damage or serious risk to you or your family and
  • Whether there is other help that you can use.

When would I get a decision?

If you apply for an ELS award before 2 pm we will ring you back the same day to let you know our decision and advise what happens next. If you contact us after 2 pm we will ring you back on the next working day.

How do I apply?

Applications are by telephone only. Please contact us on 01422 288005.

You can apply for this service Monday to Thursday 8.45 am to 5.30 pm and Friday 8.45 am to 5 pm.

You will need to advise us of your national insurance number when you ring.

See also