Financial Assistance Schemes: Help for LGBT+ People Experiencing Hate Crime
This page explains the financial assistance available if you experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crimes or incidents.
Hate crime can have a significant impact on many different parts of your life, including your finances. You might have to take time off work, travel to appointments, pay medical bills, replace valuable items or even move house. Those costs soon add up, contributing to an already stressful and upsetting situation. Help is available though, so money worries should not be a barrier to getting support. We have provided information below on sources of financial assistance from the Government and charities for people facing hate crime.
Help going to court
Assistance is available if you are asked to give evidence in court. You can claim back money spent on travel, childcare and refreshments, and money lost through time off work up to a certain amount.
Find more information here: www.gov.uk/going-to-court-victim-witness/expenses-for-going-to-court.
If someone is found guilty of a crime against you, the court can sometimes order them to pay you compensation. If you want the court to consider doing this, tell the police when you give your report, including details of any injuries or loss resulting from the crime. More information can be found at: www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-victims/practical-information/compensation.
Criminal injuries compensation
This is a Government scheme that can enable you to receive compensation if you suffer serious physical or psychological injury due to a violent crime. Details about applying are on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority website at: www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-criminal-injury.
The rules about whether you are entitled to a financial award from this scheme are complicated, but applying is relatively simple. Some solicitors can help you apply in exchange for a portion of any payment you get. Charities such as Victim Support and Galop can help you for free.
You also need to have reported the crime to the police as soon as reasonably possible, but you don’t need anyone to have been convicted. People with certain unspent criminal convictions cannot receive an award. To work out if a conviction is unspent you can visit: www.unlock.org.uk.
There is a Government fund for people in low paid work who need time off because they’ve experienced a violent crime. It is available if you have had to take at least seven days off work because of the crime and cannot get sick pay. To apply, you normally need to have reported the crime to police within 48 hours. You then need to apply for financial help within eight weeks of the crime happening. People with unspent convictions cannot usually get an award. You can apply through Victim Support at: www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-victims/practical-information/hardship-fund.
Help in Wales
The Discretionary Assistance Fund can give an Emergency Assistance Payment to help cover the costs of replacing stolen or damaged items or general living costs that you can’t afford after an emergency or disaster. It can also provide an Individual Assistance Payment to help people on certain types of welfare benefit with costs in order to ease exceptional pressures, such as moving home after a period of abuse. For details visit: http://gov.wales/topics/people-and-communities/communities/debt/discretionary-assistancefund/?lang=en.
Help in Scotland
The Scottish Welfare Fund allows councils to offer a Crisis Grant to anyone facing a disaster or emergency situation. It can also offer a Community Care Grant to help people under exceptional pressure with one-off costs, such as getting a cooker or washing machine if they have had to move after a period of abuse. For details visit: www.gov.scot/Topics/People/fairerscotland/scottishwelfarefund.
Help in England
In England, the type of help available varies according to where you live. Check with your local council to see if there is any assistance they can offer you.
Support from charities
There are hundreds of small charities that give money to people in need. Each has different rules about who it can help, for instance, people who have done a certain job, live in a certain area or have a specific health need. To look for grants you might be eligible for, visit: www.turn2us.org.uk/Find-Benefits-Grants.
Many areas have foodbanks to help people who are struggling financially. You usually need a voucher to go to one. These are given out by GPs, social workers and charities such as Citizens Advice. Most of them are run by the Trussell Trust. You can use their website to find out if there is one near you: www.trusselltrust.org.