To be eligible for Discretionary Support you must have an extreme, exceptional or crisis situation which places you, or your immediate family’s health, safety or wellbeing at significant risk.
You do not have to be claiming benefits to be eligible for Discretionary Support it is also available to those who are working and on low income. There are certain legislative requirements which need to be satisfied for Discretionary Support which include:
- you must be over 18 years old or a minimum of 16 years old if you do not have any parental support
- you must be a resident of Northern Ireland
- you must be present in Northern Ireland
- help may only be provided within Northern Ireland, so you cannot receive Discretionary Support for a crisis which occurs anywhere else.
- you may receive Discretionary Support if you are claiming benefits, but your / family / household income must be below a set threshold after disregarded items have been taken into account
- you may receive Discretionary Support if you are working, but your/family income must be below a set threshold after disregarded items have been taken into account
- if you receive a Discretionary Support loan for any one particular item, you cannot receive another loan for the same item within a rolling 12 month period
- if you satisfy the qualifying conditions you may be awarded a maximum of three loans in a rolling 12 month period, unless a disaster occurs
- if you satisfy the qualifying conditions only one grant may be awarded in a rolling 12 month period - unless a disaster occurs
- you will not be considered for a loan for any reason until your debt falls below the threshold set