Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF)

NI Direct

If you are unemployed and facing financial barriers to starting or returning to work or if you’re in employment or self-employment and also face financial difficulties, your local Jobs and Benefits office may be able to help you through the Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF).

What is the Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF)

The Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF) is a non-repayable grant award of up to £1500 (within a 12 month period) only available through a Work Coach in your local Jobs and Benefits office.  The grant is used to buy goods or services to remove a barrier to employment.

The fund provides, for example:

  • help towards training costs
  • help with the cost of travelling to work or to a job interview
  • help to take up a job offer, including help with the cost of pre-work checks or professional registration fees
  • help to increase hours of employment
  • help to start up in self-employment or to keep self-employment going following COVID-19
  • help with childcare costs (including upfront childcare costs) in certain circumstances
  • help for jobseekers who do not currently have broadband

How ADF can help with upfront childcare costs

If childcare costs are a barrier to moving into work, recommencing employment or significantly increasing their hours, parents may be able to receive help through the Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF) for upfront childcare costs of up to £1,500.

  • the money will be paid directly to a registered childcare provider only
  • a receipt for the upfront childcare costs paid through the ADF can also be submitted for the purposes of calculating the parent’s Universal Credit entitlement
  • a parent can make more than one application within a 12 month period, for example if they start a job which later ends, and then start a new job within the same 12 month period
  • the maximum overall limit for the ADF is £1,500 in any 12 month period

Who can get the Adviser Discretion Fund

To check if you are eligible for the Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF), speak to your Work Coach in your local Jobs and Benefits office. You may be eligible to access ADF if you are:

  • age 16 years old and a lone parent 


  • receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance (including National Insurance credits only)
    • New Style JSA
    • Incapacity Benefit
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • New Style ESA
    • Income Support
    • Universal Credit
    • Pension Credit
    • Maternity Allowance
    • Carer’s Allowance
    • Carer’s Credit
    • Working Tax Credits
    • Housing Benefit
  • or if you receive one of the above benefits and are intending to take up additional hours or an additional job to allow you to progress in work
  • or if your partner is receiving one of the above benefits

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