What are special payments?
Special payments are one-off payments to help cover the costs of emergencies. They can be used to pay for a service (such as dental treatment) or an item (such as a replacement cooker). Special payments may be given as loans or grants.
To get a special payment, you must be in urgent need of the item or service requested and must have no other way of meeting the cost.
You can have a small amount of savings and still claim a special payment. You can read the Income Support rates for a further explanation.
How your Income Support benefit is made up
Applying for a special payment
You will need to complete a special payment claim form, which is available from Income Support. We will also need bank statements for the last three months for all the accounts of people on your claim.
Most items covered by special payments don't require a quote, so we will arrange this on your behalf. However, if your claim is for dental or optical services, then you will need to get a detailed quote in advance.
Approval and payment
Most special payments are paid directly to the supplier of the goods or service.
It is important that you submit your claim and wait for approval from us before you buy anything or make any financial commitments. We are unlikely to 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.
Appealing against a decision
If you aren't 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
Loans instead of a grant
A majority of special payments will be offered as a loan.
Repayment of these loans will be deducted from your household’s ongoing Income Support claim.
If you no longer receive Income Support, you will need to make alternative arrangements with us to repay the loan.
You will be offered a loan for:
- a rental deposit
- dental treatment above a set limit
- white goods, furniture and carpets
- a repeat claim
- when a claim is for a situation that will be covered in the future by other means, eg an insurance claim
Costs covered by special payments
Furniture and household equipment
We will buy the goods, arrange for them to be delivered and fitted by the supplier. Items may include:
Rental deposits and removal costs
To apply for a rental deposit or help with removal costs, you must have a valid reason for moving.
In most cases, you must also be aged 25 or older.
If you have made yourself intentionally homeless or have become so because of your own actions, we may not be able to help you.
You must inform us before planning to move.
The new property must be appropriate for the size of your household and be considered a reasonable rent for the type and size of property.
Any special payment for a rental deposit will be given as a loan and you will have to agree a plan with us for paying the money back. You must repay the loan in full before any application for another loan can be allowed.
Medical and optical expenses
You must ask us first before visiting a medical practitioner, but you may be able to get help towards the cost of:
In a dental emergency (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 may be given as a loan or a grant, depending on your age and personal circumstances.
We may be able to help towards funeral expenses. You must put in your claim and receive approval before any funeral arrangements are made. This can include moving a body into or out of Jersey.
A special payment can cover the cost of essential items you may need to take up work, eg special clothes or boots.
We do not cover the cost of items that employers usually provide.
Costs not covered by special payments
There are some items and services that we will not cover costs for. These include non-essentials such as:
- household bills
- parish rates
- TV licences
- flights to visit family
- debt repayment
Special payments for people not on Income Support
Most special payments are made because people qualify for Income Support. However, they may also be available if:
- 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.
The Minister for Social Security has the power to make exceptional payments to anyone in Jersey who faces a difficult situation and needs financial help. These payments fall outside the main framework of Income Support and you should apply in writing to the Income Support Manager.