Financial help for members during COVID-19

COVID-19 Response Fund

There for You has set up a special response fund to help UNISON members in immediate financial difficulty due to coronavirus. We may be able to provide a one-off grant of £250 to help with essential expenses such as food and bills.

We can also offer other financial assistance for those experiencing unexpected hardship. The two schemes are outlined below but if you have any questions please email

Please note that this is a limited fund and grants will continue to be paid until the fund is exhausted.

To be eligible for a COVID-19 grant the following must apply:

  • You or your partner have suffered a reduction in earnings as a result of the coronavirus crisis which has put you in financial difficulty; OR
  • You or your partner are a key worker with increased work-related costs as a result of the crisis, e.g. transport, care, or laundry costs.

You must also:

  • Be a UNISON member with at least 4 weeks membership and have paid your subscriptions;
  • Have savings of less than £800;
  • Apply for any statutory help you might be entitled to.

Members can apply for these grants online

If you do not meet the above criteria but are experiencing unexpected financial hardship due to a change in circumstances, we might be able to help you in other ways.

Financial assistance

You may have financial difficulties for all sorts of unexpected reasons, such as:

  • Loss of income;
  • Relationship breakdown;
  • Bereavement;
  • Suffering from a long illness;
  • Needing to buy equipment because of a disability;
  • Caring for someone with special needs or an illness.

What we can help with

There for You is proud to support thousands of members and their families every year, with grants totalling over half a million pounds to help with things such as general living costs, household appliances, urgent repairs, disability equipment and adaptations, utility bills and funeral costs.


To be eligible to apply for financial assistance, you must have been a member of UNISON for at least four weeks and up-to-date with your subscriptions. Also, that the financial difficulties that led you to apply occurred after you joined. Partners or dependants can also apply.

To apply, please download an application form, fill it out and return it to along with scans, screenshots or photos of your supporting paperwork.


If you have difficulty completing the form, email or call 020 7121 5620 and leave a message with your contact details. They will be in touch as soon as possible to help you through the process.

UNISON benefits calculator

See what help is available from benefits if you’re affected by coronavirus, and make sure you’re getting all the help you’re eligible for with the UNISON Benefits Calculator.


Help with debt

Even a small change in circumstances can turn a manageable situation into a debt problem that may threaten your home or your family’s wellbeing. UNISON Debtline is a free, confidential debt advice service that can help you deal with all sorts of debt.