Skip to main content

Surrey Local Assistance Scheme

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 or maintain a home in the community where no other funds or resources are available.

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

Depending on your circumstance you may receive one or both of the following:

  • a one-off payment
  • household goods

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 a family safe
  • for furniture and / or white goods

Other support is available and this is considered when you apply.

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 keep or set up a home in the community

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

  • young people leaving care
  • 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 are 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.

Return to top

If you are in need of emergency cash because you are waiting for your next benefit payment, you can apply to Surrey LAS. If you are in this situation; first you must ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at a Jobcentre Plus office if you qualify for the following:

  • Short Term Advance Benefit
  • Budgeting Loan
  • have your benefit fast tracked

Here is an information sheet from DWP on Short Term Advances and Budgeting Advances.

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. 

How do I apply? 

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

Once you have submitted your online application; you (or your representative) must be available by telephone between the hours of 9am-5pm. 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. 

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.

To apply, the CAB will call us to discuss your situation over the phone.  In most cases a decision will be made immediately over the phone.

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.

Applying at a Citizen Advice Bureau 

Try and 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

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

Return to top

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

Return to top

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

Return to top

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

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:


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

Page information

  • Updated: 10 Mar 2015


Please rate this page