Assisted Purchase Scheme

What is the Assisted Purchase Scheme?

We may be able to help you to buy certain essential household items that you need, although you will need to pay for these items yourself.

Before you make an application you should ensure you have considered all other options that may be available to you. This may include budgeting loans from the Department of Work and Pensions.

We no longer give cash awards for emergency situations. If you are in an emergency situation you should contact a local advice centre who can provide advice on benefits, housing and debt. Details of local advice centres can be found on the Community Advice Network, but before contacting them, please consider:

  1. Are you waiting for your benefit claim to be decided? If you have claimed a benefit but the Jobcentre has not yet paid you, you might be able to get a ‘short term benefit advance’. You should ring the DWP direct on 0345 608 8545 to apply.
  2. Has your Jobseekers Allowance been stopped by the Jobcentre? If so, you can apply for a Hardship Payment. Ring the Jobcentre on 0345 608 8545 to ask for an appointment. A local advice centre can help you prepare for your appointment.

Can I apply for the Assisted Purchase Scheme?

You need to be getting one of the benefits listed below:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax reduction

and you fall into at least one of these categories:

  • you have recently left care
  • you have recently left prison
  • you have recently left hospital
  • you have recently left a women’s refuge or hostel
  • you are at risk of entering a care home
  • you are at risk of entering a hospital
  • you are fleeing domestic violence
  • you are experiencing extreme financial pressure

What items can I buy through this scheme?

You can only buy essential household items such as beds, cookers and fridges. These items can be either new or secondhand.

What happens after I apply?

Some applications will be refused at the point of application if you do not meet the criteria of our scheme.

If your application is accepted it will be further assessed by our team. This can take up to 5 working days.

  • The team may get in touch with you to discuss your application further
  • They may decide they cannot help you with everything you have asked for or may decide to refer you elsewhere for help

If they decide to proceed with your application and you have chosen new goods they will send you details of our partner organisation Smarterbuys where you can purchase new goods and pay for them via low weekly payments.

  • Goods are purchased under a Hire Purchase agreement and interest is charged on the amount payable.
  • Smarterbuys will need to speak to you to make sure you can afford to make repayments. They will organise repayments with you.
  • If Smarterbuys decide that you cannot afford to buy new goods they will refer you back to the Council who will decide if we can help you in another way.

If you choose secondhand goods

  • We will need to speak to you to make sure you can afford to pay for what you have asked for and if you can, we will sort out what payments you will need to make
  • We will send you details of our partner organisations that you can visit to choose your goods
  • After your goods have been collected or delivered we will send you details of what you owe and confirm the payments you have agreed to make

There is no right of appeal against decisions we make about your application

How do I apply for an Assisted Purchase?

You can only apply online. If you are having difficulty using the application form you may need to disable the pop-up blocker on your web browser or use a different web browser.

You can access the internet for free at:

I have a question about my application...

If you have questions about the application, please contact us.