Help can be provided to people facing a crisis from the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund. Grants are used by the council to assist households on a low income with their needs in an emergency, and the aim is to help when the families safety is at risk. Priority is for paying costs such as fuel bills, food, and grants can be used for rent arrears to those threatened with homelessness.
How to apply for a grant in Derbyshire
Any money paid out from the fund is a last resort, and applicants need to have applied for help from other local organisations first. They also need to provide this information to the Derbyshire council when applying. A number of other criteria are in place as well, and any grants paid out are at the discretion of the council. If an applicant is denied, then the council may provide referrals to other assistance programs or schemes in the area.
Other criteria include the following. The conditions in order to get a grant can be changed by the county council at anytime, and to apply or get more information, call 01629 533399.
- Grants are only paid out at most once in a 12 month period.
- Financial aid is only for people over the age of 18 that have a local connection to Derbyshire.
- All applications are reviewed on a case by case basis, and the council will review the need and risk to the family if an exceptional pressure grant is not provided.
Bills and expenses paid by Discretionary Fund
There are a few types of grants provided, and they include an exceptional pressure grant, pre-paid cards, and emergency cash. Each will have its own terms, and they pay for certain types of bills.
Some clients may be provided emergency cash by the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund. This is limited and is for a crisis situation only, or maybe a disaster such as a fire. The aim is to address a safety issue or maybe health crisis before the issue gets worse. A voucher will be provided to clients, and they need to take this to the local post office or food bank in their district in order to use it.
- Funds can be used for utility bills, including heating or water arrears to prevent a shut off.
- In some cases, the council will allow rental arrears, food, or deposits to be paid.
- Other crisis assistance can be provided for other bills, at this will be at the discretion of the council. A grant can be used for housing costs or free school supplies or uniforms.
Households with a person who is on benefits, such as Income-related Employment or the Savings Pension Credit, can receive the Exceptional Pressure Grant. There are other benefits that are covered too, but those are the main ones in Derbyshire that people usually receive.
Or, if the applicant to the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund is still applying for some type of benefit from the government, then in those cases they may also be qualified for the Exceptional Pressure Grant. So even if someone is not yet receiving benefits, but is just still applying for government aid, they can still get help in a crisis from the fund.
The funds can be used for different bills that people have. Cash is very rarely provided, and in most cases a pre-loaded payment card is used. The individual will need to present this card to their landlord, fuel provider, or other company in lieu of cash, and the card is used for paying their rent or other bills.
- It can pay for emergency traveling expenses, such as for an illness or funeral.
- The exceptional pressure grant in Derbyshire can help ensure people continue to live in their home rather than going into care or being evicted, so funds can be used for rent arrears and housing assistance. Or the funds can pay for a meal to be delivered to the home.
- Grants can pay for re-settlement costs, such as a deposit, moving costs, and related costs. The aid is to prevent homelessness and ensure families have a safe and affordable private accommodations to live in.
- Food, white goods, school uniforms, and other items can be bought by the payment card.
Applications for any one of these grants are processed by assessors over the phone, and residents should call 01629 533399. An assessment will take place, and applicants need to have proof of income, assets, and other personal information. Or individuals can apply online, and the Derbyshire County council has internet access points for people that need them. As indicated, the funds are intended to address a crisis, however it does take time for the assessor to review the application. So households should plan for this time.