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Assistance available for Vale residents facing financial difficulty

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is highlighting the range of support available to residents who might be facing financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of payments can be claimed by those under financial pressure, while it is also possible to reduce bills in some cases.

The Discretionary Assistance Fund provides two types of grant that do not need to be repaid, an Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) and an Individual Assistance Payment (IAP).

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.

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.

Examples of other entitlements that are available include:

•          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.

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•          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.

Cllr Ben Gray, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health, 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.”

More information can be found at:

www.gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf

www.gov.wales/claim-whats-yours

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/pension-zcredit

www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/housing_benefits/Council%20Tax%20Reduction%20Scheme.aspx

www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/housing_benefits/Discretionary-Housing-Payments-DHP.aspx

www.nest.gov.wales/en/

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