throw (one) a lifeline

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throw (one) a lifeline

To give someone help or a means of dealing with a problematic or dangerous situation, especially if they are desperate or are unlikely to succeed on their own. The 12-month grace period is the IRS throwing companies and individuals whose taxes are in arrears a lifeline. I could see that he was really upset about being late to the appointment, so I threw him a lifeline and rescheduled him for later that day.
See also: lifeline, throw