McCausland Calls for Views on Discretionary Support System
SOCIAL Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, today reiterated his call for those with an interest to air their views on a new system of grants and loans for those most in need.
The proposed new Discretionary Support system is designed specifically for Northern Ireland and will offer assistance to those facing the most exceptional, extreme or crisis situations who have no others means of support. It will replace Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans following the introduction of the proposed Welfare Reform Bill.
Minister McCausland said: “The support offered by Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans to some of the most vulnerable in our communities has been absolutely invaluable.
“Under Welfare Reform we now have opportunity to tailor these loans specifically to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in Northern Ireland. It is my firm belief that this new system, designed with the specific needs of people in Northern Ireland in mind, will carry on this vital support and provide those in need with the means to access the right type of help in times of emergency or crisis.
“I urge anyone with a view on the future of financial assistance to respond to the consultation before it ends on 23 April.”
Previously grant payments could only be accessed by those on certain benefits; the new system opens grants up to everyone as long as they meet qualifying criteria. This will result in approximately 49,000 additional people being potentially eligible for Discretionary Support.
To obtain a copy of the consultation document go to http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/