The Discretionary Assistance Fund
- Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) – Provide assistance in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to health or wellbeing.
- Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) – Enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care.
Payments are available to people who do not have alternative means of paying for what they need and do not need to be paid back. Both EAP & IAP grant awards are for one-off needs rather than on-going expenses
Who can apply for an Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)?
You may be eligible for an Emergency Assistance Payment if you:
- Are aged 16 or over
- Resident in Wales
- Don’t have any money to meet your or your family’s immediate needs after an emergency or a disaster
- Think there will be serious damage or risk to your or your family’s health and wellbeing without the payment
- Don’t have any other means of getting the help you need as you have no other money or means of getting support
Who can apply for an Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)?
To be eligible for an Individual Assistance Payment, you, or the person you care for must be resident in Wales and getting on of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit or Guaranteed Pension Credit
You may also be able to get an Individual Assistance Payment if you are likely to get one of these benefits when you leave care, such as a hospital, a care home or a prison.
Purpose of an Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)
Emergency Assistance Payments are to help with essential costs after an emergency or if you have experienced a disaster such as a fire or flood in your home.
The level of support you may be offered will be determined by the needs presented in your application. You must prove in your application that not getting the help you are asking for will put either you or your family’s health or wellbeing at risk.
When you should not apply for an Emergency Assistance Payment
You should not apply for an Emergency Assistance Payment if you have:
- Other money or support you can access for the things you need.
- Already had three Emergency Assistance Payments made to you in the last 12 months
- Applied for an Emergency Assistance Payment for the same things within the last 28 days and nothing has changed.
Purpose of an Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)
Individual Assistance Payments are to help you, or someone you care for, live as independent a life as possible in the community rather than enter or remain in an institution This could be because they:
- Are leaving an institution within the next 6 weeks after having lived there for 3 consecutive months or more, or on a frequent and regular basis due to disability or circumstances
- Want to stay in the community rather than having to go into an institution
- Are taking part in a planned re-settlement programme after an unsettled way of life
- Are a family facing exceptional pressure, for example as a result of experiencing domestic violence or increased needs of a family member due to disability, chronic illness, or an accident
- Are caring for a prisoner or young offender on release on temporary licence.
- Need help with one-off or short term travelling expenses when deemed essential to support you continue to live independently in your community
When you should not apply for an Individual Assistance Payment
You should not apply for an Individual Assistance Payment if you:
- Are in care, are not leaving care within 6 weeks or have not been in care for 3 months or more
- Have applied for an Individual Assistance Payment for the same things within the last 28 days and nothing has changed.
You may not be eligible for an Individual Assistance Payment, or the amount you are awarded may be reduced if you or your partner have any savings or capital totalling over £500 (or £1,000 if you or your partner is of pensionable age). If you are a prisoner any grant awarded may be reduced by the value of any discharge grant or warrants made.
Support with an application
You may wish to ask your support worker, social worker, care worker, tenancy support officer, probation officer or similar to help you with an application. However, in emergency situations, it is recommended that you apply by Freephone telephone as quickly as possible
The telephone application service is fully bilingual and all telephone applications can be completed in Welsh. Application forms in other languages, braille and large print are available on request.
How is a decision made whether a grant is awarded?
A decision maker will look at all the information on your application before deciding if we can make a grant. There is only a limited amount of money available for payments and items so we cannot make a grant in every case.
The information you give us on the form will help us decide:
- If you qualify for a payment or items, and if so
- Whether we can make a grant from the money we have in the budget and what the award should be.
You need to give us as much information as you can about how a grant would help you, either to cope with a crisis or to live independently in the community. This information will be used to decide whether or not a grant payment can be made.
If you do not give us the information we ask for in the form, we will not be able to give you a grant. We will check some of the information you give us, for example the benefits you are on, with the Department of Work and Pensions.
Other people may be approached about your application, for example social workers or doctors. Payment of a Grant or provision of items will be made only when this is the only way that you can get the help you need. You may get less than you have asked for.
How to apply
You can apply to the fund by:
Telephone – call 0800 859 5924 (free from a landline) or 03301 015 000 (charged a local rate)
Via the Money Made Clear Wales website, where you can complete an online application or download a postal application:
Please follow this link:
Turnaround times from a submitted application
- EAP within 24 hours
- IAP 5 to 10 days
What if the application is turned down?
You can request an Internal Review within 20 days of receiving your original decision. You can ask for your application to be reviewed if you feel one of the following reasons applies to your case:
- No award given – the application was unsuccessful due to the criteria not being met
- No award given – the application was unsuccessful but further information or change to circumstances means you feel the decision could be changed
- You think that not enough grant has been awarded to meet your needs
- Item awarded was not what you expected – e.g. white goods or a gift card, when cash was expected
When will review decisions be made?
- Emergency Assistance Payments – informed of the review outcome decision within 24 hours (Mon – Fri)
- Individual Assistance Payments – informed of the review outcome decision within 15 working days of the review request. This will be in writing, via an email or postal address, dependent on your preferred method of communication.
What happens next?
If after 1st stage review you are still unhappy with your decision then you can apply for a 2nd Stage external review. Your complete case will be reviewed and any additional information gathered to ensure a transparent and open review is followed within the same timescales as a 1st stage review.