We’ve been running the fund since April 2013 when we took it over from the Department for Work and Pensions. It's an alternative to community care grants and most of what used to be covered by crisis loans.
The discretionary fund may be able to help you during an emergency or crisis situation and to support you to continue to live independently or cope with exceptional pressure when you have no other source of funding.
The fund may support you to resolve your immediate difficulties and also puts you in touch with other support and services, so it’s less likely to happen again.
Types of awards
There are two types of awards potentially available from the Derbyshire Discretionary fund, called:
- exceptional pressure grant
- emergency cash payment
Exceptional pressure grant
An exceptional pressure grant may help people who are on one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Guarantee or Savings Pension Credit
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance where household income is the same as income-based level
- Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance where household income is the same as income-based level
- be likely to qualify for one of those benefits when establishing themselves in the community
- have been on one of these benefits within the last three months before making the application, and the reason they are no longer on benefit is that they have started employment
An exceptional pressure grant may help people who have particular difficulties because they need help to:
- return to living in the community after a time in care
- remain living at home or in the community rather than going into care
- ease the exceptional pressure that they and their family are facing
- settle in the community as part of a re-settlement programme
- meet certain travelling expenses
If an exceptional pressure grant is awarded it will usually be paid to the applicant in the form of a pre-loaded payment card. This can be taken to a specified shop to buy the items that the grant has been awarded for.
Emergency cash payment
An emergency cash payment may help people when they cannot pay for food, heating or emergency travel which could lead to an immediate and serious risk to the health and safety of the person or their family. This could be because of a disaster or crisis.
If an emergency cash payment is awarded it will be given in voucher form which can be taken to a post office with proof of ID.
Making an application
You can apply by phone, Tel: 01629 533399.
The team will take some personal information during the call and then an assessor will phone back to discuss the application in more detail.
Information the assessor will need
The assessor will need to know:
- the type of payment being applied for
- if the application is for an emergency cash payment for food, heating, or emergency travel – how a person or family is in crisis and what will happen if help is not quickly made available
- if the application is for an exceptional pressure grant, which of the particular difficulties listed previously applies to the situation
- for both types of payments the assessor will ask about what money and savings might be available
Other things to bear in mind
The DDF can only make a payment to someone who is over 16, and who lives in Derbyshire.
We cannot accept a second application for an exceptional pressure grant for the same item within a 12-month period – whether or not the first application was successful.
We cannot make more than three awards for emergency cash payments to the same person within a 12-month period.
We have a limited amount of money and all applications will be assessed on the basis of need, urgency and risk.
We will seek to share information with applicants about other forms of help and support that are available, which could improve their situation further.