The Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs allows MPs to apply for additional funding, known as contingency payments.
Please note: where you have been advised to apply for contingency by an IPSA staff member, this is not an indication of whether the outcome is likely to be successful.
All applications will be assessed by the panel against the assessment criteria above
What contingency funding is for
Where MPs have incurred a cost, or liability for a cost, which is not covered by the Scheme, but which they consider to be in support of their parliamentary functions.
Where MPs’ spending under a particular budget has exceeded or may exceed the budget limit for the year and they consider this to be the result of exceptional circumstances.
Removal costs incurred by MPs when changing their accommodation or office. These are automatically covered by the Contingency Fund and a separate contingency application does not need to be made.
Staff redundancy payments resulting from MPs leaving Parliament (voluntarily or losing their seat at an election). Again, these are automatically covered by the Contingency Fund.
What contingency funding is not for
Contingency payments are not available to cover costs incurred as part of MPs’ or their staff members’ regular parliamentary functions, such as routine casework (even when there are high volumes) or office equipment hire.
Contingency payments are not available for MPs who wish to "top up" their budget at the end of the financial year without evidence of exceptional circumstances, or for expenditure that they have had reasonable opportunity to budget for.
To be considered for a contingency payment, MPs must complete and sign a Contingency Funds Application Form, setting out their case for additional funding.
MPs should provide evidence or explanation, where applicable, to support their application. IPSA will return an application if the information provided is not sufficient for a decision to be made.
While there is not an expectation that MPs should reduce spending in other areas to make room for an unexpected cost outside their control, MPs are expected to demonstrate that they have attempted to cover the cost within their existing budget.
Costs relating to Disability Assistance or Security Assistance should be applied for as described in Chapter 10 of the Scheme, not via the Contingency Fund.
If MPs have an exceptional need to purchase new office equipment or furniture during the winding-up period they must apply for contingency funding.
Contingency Panel decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, using the evidence provided.
Both approved and rejected applications to the Contingency Fund will be published on the IPSA website, as stated in our Publication Scheme.
Temporary and minor injuries
If MPs or staff members sustain temporary or minor injuries that affect their ability to carry out their parliamentary functions, they can apply to the Contingency Fund for expenditure incurred to support them outside the parliamentary estate, and for travelling to and from work.
For such cases, IPSA will require a medical report, in addition to an application form, which demonstrates the nature of the injury and how it will impair the individual’s ability to carry out their work. This can be in the form of a note from a GP, another medical professional, or the House of Commons Safety Health and Wellbeing Service.
IPSA may request a medical report that explains whether the injury is more significant, or permanent. If this is the case, funding should be applied for under Disability Assistance. Individual claims for Disability Assistance are not published. Only an aggregate figure for all
Disability Assistance is published, once a year.