A recipient has told me there is no money left on their welfare voucher

Occasionally you may receive notification from a recipient that the voucher they have tried to use has a zero balance. Here's what to do...

This article is intended for the schools, local authorities and organisations that issue vouchers. If you are a recipient looking for help with a voucher that has a zero balance, please click here.


There are generally 4 broad possibilities for why this might happen, and it needs a little careful detective work to figure out the cause and therefore how to rectify the problem.

  1. The recipient is trying to use a voucher they have previously spent. Please check to ensure they are using the most recent link you have sent them and that you have not accidentally sent out the same voucher link twice.
  2. You have inadvertently sent out the link to more than one recipient and the first person to access it has spent it. Please thoroughly check your records and out-going correspondence to ensure the link in question has not been issued to more than one person. This can happen when links are sent or re-sent using your own email/SMS systems. 
  3. A technical mix-up by the supermarket's card processing system.
  4. Fraudulent activity wherein the voucher was issued correctly and with the correct balance, but somehow fell into the wrong hands and they spent some or all of it.

Steps to take

IMPORTANT: You will first need to obtain the recipient's permission to discuss their details with us and to investigate as below.

  1. Please get in touch with us at fsm@huggg.me and provide any details that you have, along with the affected voucher link/s.
  2. We will verify with the supermarket everything we are able to learn about the balance on the card - ideally you can first check this too (see useful information below for details of how to check the balance and how to contact each supermarket regarding gift cards).  Where possible, we'll obtain a history of when and where any expenditures were made. 
  3. We'll check with you to ascertain how the link was sent out, whether it was ever sent out to an email address or phone number other than the intended recipient's, or whether there was any other way that it might have fallen into the wrong hands.
  4. We will perform some technical checks to ascertain whether there were any technical causes.


In our experience, it's overwhelmingly much more likely to relate to something human than something technical, so we try to rule this out first. 

If it does turn out to be technical, we will of course do everything we can to help. Please do bear in mind though that we do not have access to the supermarket's internal voucher processing systems so the recipient may have to contact their customer services department directly. We will always be happy to provide whatever information we can to assist.