Neath MP Peter Hain has urged those in need to take advantage of the Discretionary Assistance Fund to provide assistance in an emergency. The scheme, established by the Welsh Government, was set up after the abolition of the Social Fund Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans as part of the UK Government’s Welfare changes.
Raising awareness of the fund Mr Hain said, “The decision to abolish this vital economic resource that people turn to in desperation tells you all you need to know about this Government. But with ever increasing demands on people’s budgets and a growing reliance on Foodbanks, the Discretionary Assistance Fund helps people to meet the costs of an emergency or a disaster like replacing a fridge, or cooker or clothes for children or it enables independent living or continued independent living.
“Many people are aware that the crisis loans have disappeared but people are not aware that this assistance is available. In desperation they are turning to payday lenders or going without food to meet the cost of a replacement washing machine or bed or new school uniform for their children. But help is available to people who have no other means of meeting the immediate cost of living.”
Payments are split into two purposes and are intended to meet one-off needs rather than on-going expenses. The Emergency Assistance Payment provides assistance in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to health or wellbeing while the Individual Assistance Payment enables independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care.
Applications for the fund can be made by calling the freephone number – 0800 859 5924 which is free from landlines or 033 0101 5000 which is charged at a local rate’. Alternatively you can submit a postal application to: Discretionary Assistance Fund, PO Box 2377, WREXHAM, LL11 0LG or online by visiting https://www.northgate-nes.co.uk/pls/pwswall/f?p=NSFPWEC:HOME:2493097282490101::NO:APP:APP_LA_CODE,APP_TEXT_LANGUAGE:WALES,ENG&cs=354DDA10CECECDA83006CF401761B281C
For more information on the fund visit http://www.moneymadeclearwales.org/discretionary-assistance-fund-for-wales