The Vale of Glamorgan Council is trying to raise awareness about the range of support available to residents who may be facing financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who are under financial pressure can claim a number of payments, plus – in some cases – it is possible to reduce bills.
The Discretionary Assistance Fund provides two types of grant that do not need to be repaid:
- An Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP).
- An Individual Assistance Payment (IAP).
What is an EAP?
An EAP is designed to help pay for essentials – such as food, gas, electricity, clothing or emergency travel – in situations where an individual is experiencing financial hardship. This might be because they have lost their job or applied for benefits and are awaiting the first payment.
What is an IAP?
The IAP is a grant to help a person live independently in their home or a property they are moving into. It can be used to pay for a fridge, cooker, washing machine or other ‘white goods’ and home furniture, such as beds, sofas and chairs.
What other help is available?
- The Child Poverty Income Maximisation Action Plan: This aims to make people aware of opportunities to increase household income by providing quality assured and confidential advice on their benefit entitlements.
- Pension credits and boosts: A benefit for people over State Pension age that tops up income.
- Council Tax reduction: A total or partial discount available to those on low incomes and benefits.
- Discretionary Housing Payment: Available if someone is paying rent and has a shortfall in their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs.
- Welsh Government’s Nest Scheme: This offers a range of impartial advice on available free home energy efficiency improvements, which might include a new boiler, central heating or insulation.
Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health, Cllr Ben Gray, said: “The last year has been a testing time for everyone, with many residents facing money problems because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“However, there are a number of financial entitlements available to people, depending on their circumstances, to help with the cost of living.
“It’s important we make people aware of exactly what they’re entitled to so no-one misses out.”