Coronavirus

What support is available?

Discretionary Assistance Fund for Wales

Relaxation of Discretionary Assistance Fund rules extended

The Welsh Government has agreed to continue the relaxation of the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) rules until 31 March 2021.

Follow this link for further advice.

TEMPORARY CHANGE: Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) Criteria

Current rules

The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) would normally allow vulnerable clients to receive a paid award up to 3 times in a rolling 12 month period. Clients are also excluded if they have received a paid award in the last 28 days. 

Flexibility to support Coronavirus impact

However, to provide more help for those households facing exceptional hardship because of the  Coronavirus crisis, during the period 1 May to 31 of March 2021, DAF Service Centre personnel have been told to apply greater flexibility and discretion with regard to the number and frequency of EAP payments that clients may require. 

Existing EAP criteria

For EAP applications not linked to Coronavirus the existing rules will continue to apply.

Examples of greater flexibility due to Covid-19 may include:

  • Waiving the 28-day rule         
  • Increasing the number of awards in a 12-month period up to a maximum of 5 awards         
  • Awards limited to one per week up to the maximum number of awards

Where greater discretion can be applied

Clients genuinely impacted by Coronavirus will be considered under the following:

1.       Lost income and new claim for benefit e.g. Interim period setting up a new client to DWP benefits              or amending DWP benefit for an existing client 
2.       Drop in income and not eligible for Universal Credit e.g. one partner loses their income
3.       Incurred additional essential living expense e.g. Spending more on gas, electric and food as a                  result of self-isolating and impact of children being home

Clients must fill in the Coronavirus questions / evidence section in the online application. The application will ask for bank details.   Awards will be made by BACS (paid into a bank account.) Other payment method will be available for exceptional circumstances e.g. no mainstream bank account.

How to apply:

Online - Apply online via the website https://gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf/how-apply

Telephone – please provide the DAF telephone application number if the client has no digital access/capability or where there is an immediate risk to wellbeing (such as fleeing domestic abuse). 

Enquiries:Any partner related enquiries email helen.richards@familyfundservices.co.uk 

Flintshire Together - Useful Information for Residents

We as a Council are continually looking at ways to help our residents during these unprecedented times.  We have put together this booklet of information from the Council with our partners which we hope you will find useful and beneficial - both from the Council and our partners.

The booklet contains a wide range of topics including:

  • Key Council contact details
  • Safeguarding information
  • Help and advice on Council Tax and rent
  • Welsh Water
  • Warm Wales
  • Fire Service
  • Be aware of scams

To access the above booklet of useful information please follow this link.

Redundancy Support

If you, a family member or friend is faced with redundancy, your employer must treat you fairly and act in accordance with your contract and legal redundancy rights. That includes making sure you’re consulted, following the right selection process and giving you a proper notice period. If not, then you could have a claim for unfair dismissal, or claim compensation for lack of consultation.

The Flintshire Rapid Redundancy Response (RRR) offers assistance to companies and their employees once a redundancy announcement has been made . RRR is a partnership approach to support those at risk of redundancy and consists of relevant agencies and support offering such services as:

Jobs search / skills matching / raising awareness of vacancies with alternative relevant employers / benefit entitlement / ReAct and other initiatives / up-skilling and personal development / CV and interview skills / how to budget and manage finance / C4W programmes / self-employment opportunities / respond to specific individual needs.

Follow this link to a guidance leaflet from ReAct on getting back to work 

Please read these guidance notes carefully before sending in your application for ReAct funding.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Government has recently introduced the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.This is to help employees that have had their pay reduced to 80% due to Coronavirus.  If ALL the criteria below are met, please get in touch with us as you may be entitled to more Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

• You are still employed and remain on your employer’s payroll.

• You are NOT currently undertaking any form of work.

• You are receiving 80% of your normal pay.

**Extension to Furlough Scheme - Recent Announcement**

The government announced on 15 April 2020 that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) eligibility date had been extended to 19 March 2020. For further information on the scheme please follow this link.

Follow this link to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Key Dates.

Changes to Local Housing Allowance Rates (LHA)

On 25 March 2020, the Council received information that the Government were increasing LHA rates effective from 06 April 2020 due to COVID-19. 

For more information and to find out your LHA rate using your postcode; please follow this link.   

Coronavirus – changes to Job Centre appointments

If you are in receipt of benefits you do not have to attend the jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19th March 2020.

You will continue to receive your benefits as normal but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.

You can still make your applications for benefit online as long as you’re eligible.Jobcenters remain open and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people.

To find out more please visit: https;//www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Discretionary Assistance Fund for Wales

The outbreak of Coronavirus can be especially worrying if you have difficulty paying your bills and/or your rent.  There is help and advice available to assist you. 

Follow this link to a short guide to the financial support that might be available to help you now covering the following:

  • Loss of income
  • Housing
  • Financial help
  • Living costs
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Contacts