Discretionary Assistance Fund By Helen Richards Partnership Manager for Wales
Background • From April 2013 elements of the Social Fund are abolished • Community Care Grants • Crisis Loans for Living Expenses • Replaced by a local fund devolved to Welsh Government • Themes from consultation events in Wales • Partnership delivery model • National qualifying criteria • Grants not loans • Goods and services over cash • Independent appeals • Links to financial capability
Discretionary Assistance Fund • Discretionary Assistance Fund - payments or in kind support for two purposes. • Enable independent living or continued independent living, preventing the need for institutional care – Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) • Provide assistance in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to health or wellbeing – Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) • Payments available to people who do not have alternative means of paying for what they need and do not need to be paid back. One-off needs rather than on-going expenses. • National delivery model
Delivery Team - credentials • Northgate has 10,000 staff and 48 major offices • 100% of local authorities and police forces in Wales • Systems in every NHS hospital as national programmes • Half of all fire brigades and ambulance trusts • Central Government • Family Fund is the UKs largest grant making charity and for over 40 years Family Fund has administered £33m per annum of grant funds for the four governments • Wrexham County Borough Council is the pilot authority in Wales for Single Fraud Investigation Service and will be keen to ensure equitable use of the fund for all. Wrexham is also one of the Universal Credit Processing sites.
How to access DAF • Free from landline 0800 859 5924 • Charged at local rate 03301 015 000 • Online & downloadable forms for posting www.moneymadeclearwales.org
Individual Assistance Payment Payment Card or Authorising Letter sent to Applicant The Applicant makes an application Family Fund advised by Northgate, then Family Fund advise the retailer e.g. Argos, Euronics, Park Retail Application arrives at DAF team in Wrexham Decision is made to Approve or Decline Advised of approval for Goods or Service (e.g. Cooker, Fridge, Bed). Signposted to other places for help Approved Declined Advised by phone, email or letter, signposted to other places for help
Emergency Assistance Payment Applicant goes to Pay Point outlet (newsagents etc) shows retailer the code and cash is given The Applicant makes an application Pay Point send barcode or unique reference number to applicant mobile Application arrives at DAF team in Wrexham Family Fund advised by Northgate, then Family Fund advise Pay Point Decision is made to Approve or Decline £ Approved Applicant advised of approval for payment. Signposted to other places for help Declined Advised by phone, email or letter, signposted to other places for help
Fulfilment Experience • For more than 13 years Family Fund has used supplier contracts for grant making programmes • In 2011 75% of applicants received their grant in the form of goods and services spending £25m • Example retailers include Park Retail, Euronics, Argos • Suppliers offer choice for beneficiaries along with trusted brand, excellent service and good coverage • FFT provides a rebate into the DAF of 3.5% of the value of goods ordered (excluding cash payments) at the end of each quarter which over a full year could add more than £250,000 to the fund • Opportunity to expand to additional outlets in Wales • Cash payments through PayPoint or BACS
1 http://www.moneymadeclearwales.org/discretionary-assistance-fund-for-wales The Public Web Site allows members of the public to make applications from the Discretionary Assistance Fund. They can; Check for likely Eligibility 2. Make & submit an Application 3. Save a partly completed application 4.Return to a partially completed application 5. Track the progress of an application
Partners across Wales • Need to ensure the hardest to reach can get support to apply • Domestic abuse, care-leavers, those in crisis, someone experiencing a tragedy, mentally ill. • Partners can signpost or complete applications with or on behalf of customers • The partnership forum will be an on-going mechanism for feedback & involvement • Registration is simple & each organisation given their own unique organisation number
Performance of Quarter 1 & 2 Total amount awarded Quarter 1 & 2: £2.7million* *Final official accumulative figure is still be approved.
Key Messages • Accessible via online, post, telephone in dual language • Governance through Executive and Operational Boards • Active engagement with partner networks & partnership manager • Regular updates and online seminars • Ongoing programme with all stakeholders • Grant Fund as part of holistic service Being a partner organisation is a commitment to support the hardest-to-reach & most vulnerable people, to access the DAF either through signposting or support. We are committed to ensuring everyone who needs to apply to the DAF has the chance to do so.
Thank you • Thank you for the opportunity to come and discuss the discretionary assistance fund with your organisation • Please ask any questions you may have