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Surrey Local Assistance Scheme

How do I apply?

You can apply online or visit one of the Citizens Advice Bureaus (CAB) listed below who can help you to apply online.

If you are applying on behalf of someone else: Please ensure you understand what we can help with and that you have permission from that person to apply to the Local Assistance Scheme. Please ensure all information entered is accurate and up to date, as any errors may result in a delay to the application. Please also ensure that the person is aware that an application has been made and is expecting our call to complete the application.

Once you have submitted your online application; you (or your representative) must be available by telephone between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. This will enable us to complete your application and make a decision on any help we can provide. This is an emergency service, therefore if you are not available for us to speak to within one working day then your application will be cancelled and you will need to make a new application.

If you are having difficulty during your application please refer to our user guide (PDF).

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What help is available?

The scheme can provide support for immediate needs after a disaster or in an emergency, where no other options are available. This can be:

  • to get food
  • for emergency travel costs 
  • to keep your family safe
  • for essential furniture and / or white goods

Other support is available and this is considered when you apply. Depending on your circumstance we may award one or both of the following:

  • a one-off payment
  • household goods

Repeat applications will be considered but the scheme aims to support people for one occasion and signpost to long-term help to prevent ongoing need.

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Who can get help from the scheme?

To be eligible for the scheme you must be at least 16 years old and:

  • able to prove that you are a Surrey resident or prove that you have an intention to live in Surrey within the next 28 days*
  • on a means-tested benefit or unable to access sufficient funds

You must also need:

  • emergency funds to meet the basic needs of yourself or your dependents and/or:
  • support to set up a home in the community*

Support to set up a home in the community could be for:

  • people moving out of institutions, care homes and prison or detention centres
  • people escaping domestic abuse
  • people with a serious illness
  • people with a learning disability
  • people with alcohol or substance misuse problems, which mean they have been homeless or struggling to have somewhere to live

These examples will not cover every possible situation, and other exceptional circumstances where people are in need and have nowhere else to turn will be considered when you apply.

*If you are requiring assistance with household items and are moving to a new property please apply only once your tenancy has started. We cannot process an application until you are living in the property.

If you are in need of emergency cash because you are waiting for your next benefit payment, before you apply to the LAS, you must first ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at a Jobcentre Plus office if you qualify for a Short Term Benefit Advance. If you are applying for Universal Credit for the first time and you are in need of assistance you must apply for a Universal Credit Advance, ask your Jobcentre Plus advisor about this.

If you require assistance to set up home in the community and are in receipt of benefits, you may qualify for a Budgeting Loan, you must ask the DWP at a Jobcentre Plus office if you qualify before you apply to the LAS.

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Who cannot get help from the scheme?

If your benefit has been sanctioned by the DWP then you will not qualify for assistance. In this instance you must contact Jobcentre Plus to apply for a Hardship Payment, your eligibility for this will be assessed by the DWP. If you do not agree with your sanction you should appeal this decision to the DWP.

Awards would not normally be given for:

  • Television or satellite cost or repair
  • Housing costs (including moving costs), arrears or rent
  • Costs normally met by state support or benefits including Universal Credit
  • Debts
  • TV license
  • Installation of a telephone or telephone line
  • Costs associated with care provision
  • Non - essential white goods and domestic appliances or replacing household goods
  • Utility, tax or insurance bills

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Applying at a Citizen Advice Bureau

If you want to apply through the CAB please ensure you bring:

  • Proof of identity -  Driver's licence, birth certificate or passport and
  • Proof of address - Council Tax statement, tenancy agreement, or two recently dated bank statements or utility bills to show current address.

We may accept other proof and this will be discussed when you apply.

The CAB will listen to your situation and consider local support options – for example if you need food it may be that you can get essential supplies more quickly from a local food bank rather than through the LAS. They will refer to our eligibility criteria and advise you on available options.

Try to visit your nearest participating CAB. Here is a list of them:


  • Ash Hill Road GU12 5DP
  • Telephone 01252 315569
  • Opening times Mon – Thurs 9.30am–4pm

Banstead CAB

  • The Horseshoe, Banstead SM7 2BQ
  • Telephone 03444 111 444
  • Opening times Tues and Fri 10am–2pm

Camberley CAB

  • Rear of Library, Knoll Road GU15 3SY
  • Telephone 01276 684342
  • Opening times Mon - Thurs 10am–4pm

Caterham and Warlingham CAB

  • Soper Hall, Harestone Valley Road, Caterham, CR3 6YN
  • Telephone 01883 344777
  • Opening times Mon and Thurs 10am–3pm, Tue 10am–1pm, Wed 2pm–5pm

Cranleigh CAB

  • Village Way, Cranleigh GU6 8AF
  • Telephone 0844 848 7969
  • Opening times Mon, Tues and Thurs 10am–4pm

Dorking CAB

  • Lyons Court, Dorking RH4 1AB
  • Telephone 03444 111 444
  • Opening times Mon, Tues and Thurs 10am–4pm, Fri 10am–1pm

Epsom CAB

  • The Old Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom KT18 5AG
  • Telephone 01372 237 000
  • Opening times Mon 10am–1pm, Tues 10am–3pm, Weds 10am–1pm, Thurs 10am–3pm, Fri 10am–1pm

Esher CAB

  • Harry Fletcher House, High Street, Esher KT10 9RN
  • Telephone 03444 111 444
  • Opening times Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10.30am–3.30pm, Weds 5pm–7.30pm

Farnham CAB

  • Montrose House, South Street, Farnham GU9 7RN
  • Telephone 0844 848 7969
  • Opening times: Mon to Weds 10am–1pm, Thurs 12pm–4pm

Godalming CAB

  • New Montrose House, 36 Bridge Street, Godalming GU7 1HP 
  • Telephone 0844 848 7969 
  • Opening times Mon to Fri 10am–4pm

Guildford CAB

  • 15-21 Haydon Place, Guildford GU1 4LL
  • Telephone 01483 576 699
  • Opening times Mon, Tues, Weds and Fri 10am–4pm, Thurs 10am–5pm

Haslemere CAB

  • Well Lane House, Well Lane, High Street, Haslemere GU27 2LB
  • Telephone 0844 848 7969
  • Opening times Mon, Weds, Thurs and Fri 10am – 1pm, Tues 1pm – 5pm

Horley CAB

  • Regent House Community Centre, Albert Road, Horley RH6 7JA
  • Telephone 03444 111444
  • Opening times Weds 10am–1pm

Leatherhead CAB

  • The Georgian House, Swan Mews, Leatherhead KT22 8AE
  • Telephone 03444 111 444
  • Opening times Mon to Thurs 10am–4pm

Oxted CAB

  • First floor, Library Building, 14 Gresham Road RH8 0BQ
  • Telephone 01883 715525 or 01883 730259
  • Opening times Mon, Weds and Fri 10am–1pm, Tues and Weds 1pm–4pm

Redhill CAB

  • 24 Cromwell Roas, Redhill RH1 1RT
  • Telephone 03444 111 444
  • Opening times Mon, Thurs 10am–1pm,

Runnymede and Spelthorne

  • Addlestone Bureau, The Old Library, Church Road, Addlestone KT15 1RW
  • Opening times Mon, Tues, Weds 10am–12.30pm and 1.15–3.30pm, Thurs morning appointments only then 1.15pm–3.3pm, Friday 10am - 12.30pm

 Walton, Weybridge and Hersham CAB

  • 72 The High Street, Walton on Thames KT12 1BU
  • Telephone 01932 248660
  • Opening times Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am–3.30pm, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am–12.30pm

Woking CAB

  • Provincial House, 26 Commercial Way, Woking, GU21 6EN
  • Telephone 01483 541666
  • Opening times Mon to Fri 10am–4pm

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About the Surrey Local Assistance Scheme

The Surrey Local Assistance Scheme is a discretionary fund run by Surrey County Council. It has been running since 1 April 2013. It provides financial help to Surrey residents who have nowhere else to turn in an emergency or after a disaster. It also can provide assistance to set up a home in the community where no other funds or resources are available.

The Surrey Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) was set up because two former components of the Social Fund; Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for Living Expenses were abolished and are no longer available through Jobcentre Plus.

Where can I find out more?

Please read the Local Assistance Scheme Policy. If you have a general enquiry about the scheme send us an email:


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What if I am not happy with the outcome?

If you are not happy with the outcome of your application you can ask for the application to be reviewed. In such cases an independent person from within the Local Assistance Team will undertake the review. The review will take place immediately where possible and the same working day when it is not.

If you are not happy with the outcome of the review or with the way your application was handled you should follow the Council's complaints procedure. If you are not happy with the outcome of this, then you can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Files available to download

  • Updated: 14 Oct 2016
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