Many people are experiencing financial difficulties at the moment. The cost of food and energy have rocketed in the past 6 or 7 years, wages have not kept pace with prices, and changes to welfare benefits have forced many households into poverty.
In Derbyshire there are many organisations who can help people who are struggling. It’s important not to face your problems alone and seek advice as soon as possible. Waiting until the bailiffs are knocking on your door limits your options, so get some advice before things get to that stage.
You must act quickly. Contact one of the above agencies for advice. Derbyshire Law Centre (01246 550674) and Direct Help and Advice (01332 287850) can provide free legal advice and representation on a range of matters including housing and employment issues.
Check that you are claiming all the benefits, tax credits and additional support you are entitled to. If you are not sure, contact Derbyshire County Council Welfare Benefits and they will be able to provide advice and support. They can even help you with your claim.
You may be entitled to the following benefits
If you have a disabled child you may be eligible for other payments. See the Disabled children section on the government website.
Now look at your family finances. There are lots of useful websites that will help you to create a budget and work out how much free cash you have left over each month. Try these websites;
Thirdly, tackle your debts. There are lots of organisations offering help and advice on debt. Beware though some will charge for their services.
The free advice sector will help you consider your options and in most cases assist you with the best remedy for your situation.
National organisations include:
Derbyshire County Council has some general information on their website Managing Money.
If you owe money to someone you suspect may be operating illegally (a "loan-shark") go to our page on Loan Sharks.
For short term borrowing, avoid Payday Lenders. In the first instance try your local Credit Union as well as offering competitive savings rates, credit unions may also be able to lend you money to help you get back on your feet without crippling interest rates. See our page on Payday Loans for more information.
If you find yourself without money for food or daily essentials, there are emergency support arrangements in place in Derbyshire.
Food Banks provide food parcels to last your family for 3 days until you can get more help. Find your local foodbank at Derbyshire Food Banks – you will need to get a voucher from your GP, advice centre or your Social Worker.
Emergency Payments can be made for families and individuals suffering from hardship contact Derbyshire Discretionary Fund.
You can also check to see if you might be eligible for a grant to help with a one off situation.