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Money advice from Citizens Advice Bureau

Discretionary Crisis Fund

Discretionary Crisis Fund - supporting out most vulnerable residents. The Discretionary Crisis Fund is the name for a sum of money we can access as a last resort to help Rochdale borough residents who find themselves in a crisis.

You can't receive a cash payment from the fund. If you receive help, it will be in the form of goods.

How do I apply?

You can apply for an award from the Discretionary Crisis Fund online.

  1. You'll need to use a laptop or computer as the form doesn't work on mobile devices.
  2. You'll need to enable pop ups on the laptop or computer you're using. View instructions to enable pop ups (596kb pdf)
  3. You can use a computer or connect to WiFi for FREE at any library in the borough. Library services - find your local library or see how to book a library computer.

Please note: if you're leaving prison, care, temporary homelessness accommodation or National Asylum Support Service accommodation, then the Bond Board or the agency you're working with must make the application on your behalf.

We're aware there are some issues with the online form provided by North Gate Public Services. If you can't use the form, please ring us to apply instead.

Apply for an award from the Discretionary Crisis Fund

Alternatively, you can ring us on 01706 532222, Monday to Friday, 9am-5.30pm. You can use a phone for FREE at a number of libraries in the borough. View facilities at your local library.

What is considered a crisis?

There are no strict rules for determining what is or isn't a crisis. We assess each application individually to make a decision.

Here are a few examples of what we may and may not consider a crisis but they don't cover all circumstances. If you're not sure and you're struggling, please apply anyway.

Examples of crisis situations

We may consider it a crisis when:

  • You need to make an emergency journey, for example to attend a hospital appointment.
  • You're fleeing domestic abuse and need support or emergency items or clothing.
  • You can't afford to heat your home - we can only help if you use a smart meter to top up at pay point shops.
  • You've left care, prison, asylum seeker accommodation or the armed forces.
  • You're moving into a home for the first time after being homeless.
  • You've been the victim of a crime or natural disaster, for example your home was broken into or you've had a serious fire or flood.

We don't usually consider the following as crisis situations:

  • You've run out of money and need some cash to tide yourself over.
  • You're moving out of your parents' house and need help setting up home on your own.
  • You need a deposit to rent a home. However, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Am I eligible?

You must meet ALL the following to apply:

  • You're 16 years old or over.
  • You live in Rochdale borough or have accepted a firm offer of tenancy in the borough.
  • You claim a benefit. This includes if you're in work and claim a benefit or if your benefits have been sanctioned.
  • You haven't already received 2 awards in the last 12 months.

If you're applying for household items:
In addition to the eligibility above, you must also be receiveing help from an approved organisation to be eligible.

The approved organisations are Barnardos, The Bond Board , Brentwood Day Centre, Children’s Services, Citizens Advice Bureau, Homeless Team, Petrus, Probation Office, Riverside Housing Group, SafeNet, Stepping Stones, Sure Start Children's Centres, The Sanctuary Trust, Turning Point, Victim Support and Women’s Housing Action Group (WHAG).

When can I apply?

You need to apply for a Discretionary Crisis Fund within a certain time depending on your circumstances.

For example, you need to apply:

  • Within 2 weeks of your new tenancy start date.
  • Within 2 weeks of a crisis event, such as a crime, fire or flood.
  • Within 3 months of your discharge date from the armed forces.

What do I need to apply?

To apply for a Discretionary Crisis Fund award, you'll need:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Details of the benefits you claim
  • Your Council Tax Reference Number
  • An email address, if you're applying for help with emergency household energy
  • A letter from your doctor or hospital, if you're applying for something to do with a medical or disability need
  • A crime reference number, if your application is due to you being a victim of a crime or domestic abuse

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

If you aren't offered support from the Discretionary Crisis Fund, we'll advise you of:

Can I appeal if I'm unhappy with a decision?

If you're not happy with the decision made on your application, you can ask us to review it. You must request this review in writing within 5 working days of you being notified of the initial decision. You can do this by email or by post.

Post: NESU, PO Box 1007, Billingham TS19 1UN.

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