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Financial support

We all know that looking after children is expensive. If your child has additional needs you may find yourself struggling to pay for even daily essentials.

Income

The first thing to do is to check that you are claiming all the benefits, tax credits and additional financial help you are entitled to. If you are not sure, contact Derbyshire County Council welfare benefits team (opens in a new window) or your local Citizen's Advice Bureau (opens in a new window). They will be able to provide advice and support and can even help you fill in the forms for your claim.

You may be entitled to the following benefits, you can find more information in the legal and money matters section of the Derbyshire County Council website.

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax credits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance.

If you have a disabled child you may be eligible for other payments. See the disabled children section on the government website.

Budget

The second step is to 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 including Money Advice Service budget planner and Money Smart budget planner.

Debt and borrowing money

Thirdly, tackle your debts. There are lots of organisations offering help and advice on debt. Some will charge for their services. For free, impartial advice contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau (opens in a new window), you can search for the nearest centre on their website. There are also Citizens Advice Bureau sessions in GP surgeries and children's centres around the county.

More information can also be found on the managing your money or debts section (opens in a new window) of the Derbyshire County Council website.

If you owe money to someone you suspect may be operating illegally (a loan shark) contact Stop Loan Sharks (opens in a new window) for help and advice.

For short-term borrowing, try one of the many alternatives to payday lenders. 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.

In an emergency

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 three days until you can get more help. Find your local food bank (opens in a new window) on the Advice Derbyshire website. You will need to get a voucher from your local advice centre or children's centre, your social worker or GP.

Emergency payments can be made for families suffering from hardship contact Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (opens in a new window).