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Discretionary Assistance Fund for Wales

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Information on the impact and consequences of the UK Welfare Reform Act 2012 for the people of Wales.
Money

The fund offers payments or in kind support (essential house hold items and white goods) to provide urgent assistance to people to safeguard health and well being.

As part of the UK Government’s programme of welfare reform, the discretionary elements of the UK Government’s Social Fund (Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans) have been abolished.

Other elements of the Social Fund will continue to be managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), such as short term advances, as well as hardship payments.

On 1 April 2013, the Welsh Government set up a national scheme called the Discretionary Assistance Fund. Following a second competitive tendering exercise Northgate Public Services (Northgate) are working in partnership with Family Fund and Wrexham County Borough Council. This contract will run until March 2020 with the option to extend annually for a further three years. 

The fund can also be accessed to enable or maintain independent living.

These payments will be made available to people who have no other means of meeting the immediate cost of living and are not intended to meet the cost of ongoing expenses.

Within the scheme there are 2 types of non-repayable grant support:

  • Emergency Assistance Payments to provide assistance in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to health or wellbeing. Anyone over the age of 16 can be considered eligible for these payments to help meet expenses due to an emergency or because of a disaster.
  • Individual Assistance Payments to meet an urgent identified need that enables or supports vulnerable citizens to establish themselves or remain living independently in the community. To be eligible applicants must be: 
    • entitled to and be in receipt of income related welfare benefits. Income related welfare benefits refer to: Income Support; income-based Job Seeker's Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Pension Credit; or
    • due to leave an institution or care home within 6 weeks, that they are likely to be entitled to receive income related welfare benefits on leaving.

How to apply

To see if you are eligible for support under the scheme and would like to make an application, please:

  • access the online application form (External link)
  • telephone by calling the freephone number - 0800 859 5924 which is free from landlines and mobiles
  • send a postal application to:
    Discretionary Assistance Fund
    PO Box 2377
    Wrexham
    LL11 0LG

Further information and a downloadable paper-based application form is available at money made clear (external link).