Crisis fund to be extended in Derbyshire


A fund which supports local people and families at times of crisis with emergency cash payments and grants is to be improved and extended by Derbyshire County Council.

The Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) was launched by the county council in April last year.

It was launched after the Government transferred responsibility for some emergency welfare support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to local authorities.

The DDF has two types of support in place to help people facing severe financial difficulties or to cope with exceptional pressure when they have no money.

The Emergency Cash Payment, can be used to buy food, heating or emergency travel and the Exceptional Pressure Grant, to help people buy essential household equipment or otherwise ease real financial pressure on families who have no means to do so themselves.

Improvements have already been made to the DDF, including raising the amount of money people can have in savings and still be eligible for an Exceptional Pressure Grant from £500 to £1,000; increasing the maximum number of Emergency Cash Payments people can receive over any 12 month period from two to three and opening up the grants to people on a wider range of benefits.

Derbyshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Councillor Rob Davison said: “The Derbyshire Discretionary Fund has already helped thousands and is running well, despite being set up in a short time with little guidance from the Government.