Social Fund distributes £138m
Social fund payments of more than £138m have helped thousands of people across Northern Ireland in the past year.
The Social Fund Annual Report, published yesterday, reveals thousands of people in real need have been given support including winter fuel and funeral payments, grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans.
The Social Fund was established to help people on low incomes, when its needed most.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: "During 2012-13, the Social Fund continued to help those on low incomes to cope with unexpected emergencies and to manage unanticipated expenditure.
"I know that the assistance given by the Social Fund can help alleviate the worry that many people on low incomes can suffer when faced with unforeseen emergencies or unanticipated expenditure."