What are special payments?
Special payments are one-off payments to help cover the costs of emergencies. These special payments can be used to pay for a service (such as dental treatment) or an item (such as a replacement cooker).
To be considered for a special payment, you must be in urgent need of the item or service requested and you must have no other way of meeting the cost.
Do I have to be getting Income Support to get a special payment?
Most special payments are made because people qualify for Income Support. However, they are sometimes available if you are not entitled to Income Support, but:
- you have been living in Jersey for the last four and a half years and would qualify for Income Support if you had been in the Island longer
- you have been living in Jersey for at least five years and your household income is within the 10% limit for entitlement to Income Support
You will need to complete an Income Support application to show that one of these conditions applies to you.
Can I receive a special payment if I have savings?
You can have a small amount of savings and still claim a special payment.
The amount you can keep is set at 25% of the Income Support capital limit for your type of household.
Income Support rates
What types of costs are covered?
Furniture and household equipment
You must be in urgent need of an item to get a special payment. Special payments are typically available for beds, mattresses and white goods.
Social Security will organise the buying of any goods and items will be delivered to your address and, where needed, fitted by the supplier.
Payment for a washing machine will only be considered if your household includes a child under school leaving age or somebody who qualifies for at least level two of the personal care or mobility component of Income Support.
Social Security will not supply replacement carpets or vinyl flooring for tenants moving in to Housing Department properties unless the property was let to you without them.
To receive a special payment for your rent deposit you must have a valid reason for moving. Anyone who makes themselves intentionally homeless or has become so because of their own unreasonable actions will not normally be given help with rent deposits or removal costs.
You must inform us before making any commitment to a new property. The new property must be suitable for the size of your household and be considered a reasonable rent.
Any special payment that you receive for a deposit for your rent will be given as a loan and you will have to agree arrangement with us for paying the money back. You must repay the loan fully before any application for another loan can be allowed.
Please note: we do not generally assist with accommodation if you are aged under 25.
If you are being moved by the Housing Department and are receiving help from them, we would not normally assist with any costs related to this move.
If you need to rent a van to help you move or need extra help towards removals please contact us for further information.
A special payment can cover the cost of essential items you may need to buy to take up work, for example, specific items of uniform or special clothes or boots, or specialist tools.
Special payments do not cover items that employers usually provide.
Special payments can help with things like emergency dental work, repairs to prescription glasses or additional visits to the GP.
You must ask us first before visiting the dentist for planned work, or before buying glasses. If it is an emergency (a dental emergency means an extraction or basic filling) you can visit your dentist for treatment but you must contact us as soon as possible afterwards.
Special payments for dental treatment are given as loans and grants. Someone over the age of 65 or receiving at least level two of the personal care component of Income Support will normally get a dental treatment special payment as a grant. For other people, Social Security will only pay up to a set limit towards dental treatment over a two year period as a grant. Any amount above this limit will be offered to you as a loan.
A special payment may be made to help you with the funeral expenses for a member of your household. To be considered for a payment, the funeral has to be held in Jersey. You must put in your claim and receive approval before any funeral arrangements are made.
We will only provide funding up to a set limit and payment will be made directly to the funeral director.
If a body has to be moved to or from Jersey, then the cost of this (up to a set limit) can be covered by a special payment. Where a body is brought to Jersey for a funeral, this payment may be made in addition to a special payment for funeral expenses.
What costs are not covered by special payments?
There are some items and services that we will not cover costs for. These include non-essentials such as:
- utility bills
- phone bills
- TV licences
- Sky subscriptions
- rates bills
- flights to visit family
- accommodation costs for visits overseas
- cosmetic dental work
- other household bills
- debt repayment
How do I make a claim?
If you are not receiving Income Support, you will need to complete an Income Support application form before your special payment can be considered.
If you already receive Income Support then you will need to complete a special payment claim form. These are available from us at the Social Security Department.
When you give in your claim form we will also need bank statements for the last three months for all adults and children on your claim.
Most items covered by special payments do not require a quote so you do not need to approach a supplier as we will do this on your behalf. However, if your claim is for dental or optical services, then you will need to get a quote in advance for the item or service that you want us to pay for.
Waiting for approval
It is important that you submit your claim and wait for approval from us before you go ahead and buy anything or make any financial commitments. We are unlikely to reimburse you (pay you back) if you don’t.
In emergencies we will process your application on the same day providing we have all the information we need.
Can I appeal?
Yes, if you are not happy with the decision made regarding a special payment, you can ask for it to be looked at again. If you are still unhappy, you can appeal to an independent tribunal.
If you think a Social Security decision is wrong
How are special payments paid?
Most special payments are paid directly to the supplier of the goods or service.
A loan will often be given when it is a repeat claim or if the claim is for a situation that will be covered in the future by other means such as an insurance claim. A loan may also be given for dental treatment above a set limit.
Rental deposits are always treated as loans.
Repayment of any loans will be deducted from your household’s ongoing Income Support claim. If you don't receive Income Support or your Income Support stops, you will need to make other arrangements with us to repay the loan.