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The Discretionary Assistance Fund

The Discretionary Assistance Fund offers payments or in-kind support to people needing urgent assistance and where there is an identified need to safeguard health and wellbeing.

The Discretionary Assistance Fund is a fund of last resort, which means that it is designed to support those who cannot access any other help. Two types of grants are available:

Emergency Assistance Payment

As the name suggests, this is a payment that you may need following an emergency. It is a grant to help with essential costs after an emergency, or if you have experienced a disaster such as a flood or fire in your home, or extreme financial hardship for reasons including delays in benefit payments. The payment will help you cover the cost of food, gas and electricity, clothing and emergency travel. It is not designed to cover ongoing financial shortfalls.

Eligibility does not depend on benefit entitlement and anyone over the age of 16 can be considered for a grant if they need help to meet expenses due to an emergency or disaster.  You can usually only have three grants in a rolling 12 month period and cannot receive a payment if you have been awarded one in the last 28 days.  All awards are discretionary and depend on your current circumstances and needs.

Emergency Assistance Payment and Coronavirus

  • For people who have been affected by Coronavirus the normal restrictions and greater flexibility has been introduced for a period from 01/05/20 to 31/07/20.
  • The 28 day restriction has been lifted and 5 grants are allowed in a 12 month period if the emergency is caused by Coronavirus.
  • Help may be awarded if Coronavirus has caused:
    • Lost income and help needed for the interim period whilst making a new benefit claim or changes to an existing claim.
    • A drop in income and you are not eligible for benefits such as Universal Credit, for example the Coronavirus may have meant you or your partner has lost their job and lost all their income.
    • Incurred additional essential living expenses due to having to spend more on gas, electric and food as a result of self-isolating and impact of children being home.

How to apply:
Apply online at https://gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf/how-apply or ring between 9.30am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday on 0800 8595924 (free from a landline) or 033 0101 5000 (local rate).  If you are awarded a payment, Pay Point will text you the details needed to access the payment at a shop or post office with a PayPoint logo, you can find your nearest store on https://consumer.paypoint.com/.

 

Individual Assistance Payment

Important: you can only be awarded an Individual Assistance Payment if your application is supported by an Approved Partner organisation.

A person who is helping you from an approved partner organisation has to include a code provided to the organisation by DAF or the application will be refused. Some Swansea Council departments including the Tenancy Support Unit, Housing Associations, many advice organisations and charities will be approved partners and may be able to assist you if you require this grant due to your circumstances.

The Individual Assistance Payment does not provide a cash grant, instead you will be supplied directly with the white goods (eg washing machine, fridge, cooker) or the household furniture that you are assessed as needing to help assist your current situation which must be on the list to be eligible.

Are you eligible? you have to meet all three sets of conditions:

  1. Meet all the following conditions:
    • be resident in Wales
    • be 16 or over
    • have no other access to savings or funding
    • not be resident in a care home (unless being discharged in 6 weeks)
    • not be currently in prison (unless being discharged in 6 weeks)
    • not be a member of a fully maintained religious order
  2. Be in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit 
    • Universal Credit
  3. Meet one of the following qualifying conditions:
    • you are leaving a care home or institution to live independently in the community after a minimum of 3 months in care (for example in hospital, a care home, prison, foster care)
    • you want to stay living in the community rather than having to go into an institution
    • you are setting up home after an unsettled way of life
    • you are facing an exceptional and urgent pressure such as a relationship breakdown or domestic violence    
    • you are going to care for a prisoner of young offender released on a temporary license

How to apply:
The person from the approved partner organisation can either help you claim online, download and complete a claim form or phone DAF on your behalf.  

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