Recently, research on helping has broadened the emphasis in this field from research on who gives help to whom, when and why (Dovidio et al., The social psychology of prosocial behavior, Mahwah, NJ, 2006) to a broader consideration of helping relations between individuals and groups (Nadler, The oxford handbook of personality and social psychology, New York, 394–419, 2012). This emphasis on ... [Show full abstract] relations considers the readiness to seek, give and receive help, and the short- and long-term consequences for the helper, the recipient and the relations between them. Further, this emphasis on helping relations has also seen the extension from interpersonal helping to intergroup helping. Following an introduction that presents these past trends in social psychological research, the first part of the chapter will presents and discusses the Intergroup Helping as Status Relations (IHSR) model (Nadler, Journal of Social Issues 58:487–502, 2002), and related research. This model suggests that as giving help is associated with greater dependency on help with fewer resources, giving or receiving help has an impact on status relations between helper and recipient (Nadler, Journal of Social Issues 58:487–502, 2002; Nadler and Halabi, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 91:97–110, 2006). Therefore, although giving help is often an expression of true caring, the readiness to seek, give and receive help from the outgroup is affected by people’s motivation to protect or challenge existing social inequality (Nadler and Halabi, International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Oxford, 759–765, 2015). In the second part, we review recent research on psychological dynamics that turn helping into relationships of empowerment and equality rather than dependency and inequality (i.e. trust, perceived sense of control, common ingroup identity, apologising). In a third section, we focus on how the recipient’s social status determines whether helping develops into dependency- or autonomy-based relationships, and on the stigmatic effects of help-seeking by members of high- and low-status groups (e.g., Nadler and Chernyak-Hai, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106:58–72, 2014). In the final section of the chapter, we discuss the conceptual and applied implications of this body of research for social psychological research, theory and the applied contribution towards combatting social inequality.