What is the DAF Fund?

  • What is the DAF Fund?
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Overview:

This article will cover everything you need to know about the DAF Fund, from what it is and how it works to how to apply and where to get further help.

There are various government-led schemes and initiatives available to help you out financially depending on where you live in the UK.

Wales, for example, has the DAF Fund – a source of financial assistance for those struggling with living costs and have no other means of support. But what exactly is the DAF Fund and who is it designed for?

What is the DAF Fund?

The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) is a scheme introduced by the Welsh Government in 2013 to provide some much-needed assistance to individuals experiencing extreme financial hardship. The aim of the initiative is to provide a financial safety net for those struggling to afford their living costs and have no other means of support.

However, it is designed to provide immediate help in response to unexpected financial hardship and shouldn’t be viewed as a long-term solution. Because of this, the application process is fairly simple and straightforward with most applications made online or over the phone and approved within a matter of days.

Some of the factors that will be considered when you apply are your income, savings, and what led to your current financial situation.

How does the DAF Fund work?

The DAF Fund provides two types of financial assistance depending on your circumstances: the Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) and the Individual Assistance Payment (IAP). We’ve outlined both below:

Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)

The Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) is a grant designed to pay for essential costs, such as food, gas, electricity, clothing, and emergency travel, if you have experienced sudden financial hardship (e.g. you’ve lost your job or have applied for benefits but are waiting for your first payment).

The EAP is designed for people who have experienced a financial emergency, disaster, or crisis, and can’t be used for ongoing bills that you can’t afford to pay.

Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)

The Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) is a grant intended to help you or someone you care for live independently at home within the community.

The IAP covers essential living costs needed to maintain a reasonable standard of living and can assist with a wide range of expenses like groceries, heating, clothing, and gas and electricity bills.

Am I eligible for the DAF Fund?

The eligibility criteria for the DAF Fund depends on which of the two payments you are applying for. We’ve outlined the qualifying criteria for each below:

Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)

To qualify for the EAP, you must:

  • Be in extreme financial hardship (e.g. lost your job, applied for benefits and are waiting for your first payment, or have no money for bills that are due immediately)
  • Be in a ‘crisis situation’ and require immediate financial support
  • Be over the age of 16
  • Live in Wales
  • Have no other money or savings and have considered all other options, including a credit union

Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)

The eligibility criteria for the IAP are a little more complex. To qualify, you must:

  • Not be living in a care home or prison (unless you’re being discharged within six weeks)
  • Not be a member of a fully maintained religious order
  • Be over the age of 16
  • Live in Wales
  • Have no other money or savings and have considered all other options, including a credit union

Furthermore, you must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit (standard/personal allowance)

Lastly, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are preparing to leave a care home or institution (e.g. hospital, prison, or foster home) after a minimum of three months to live independently
  • You want to stay living in the community rather than move into an institution
  • You are getting ready to set up home after an unsettled way of life
  • You need to move into a new property quickly due to a relationship breakdown or domestic violence situation
  • You are going to care for a prisoner or young offender released on a temporary license

How much will I get with the DAF Fund?

There is no set amount you will receive with the DAF Fund – the amount provided depends on your personal needs and will be at the discretion of your local council.

For the EAP, you will receive a PayPoint voucher or BACS payment for food, gas and electricity, and emergency travel and vouchers to be used to buy clothing.

For the IAP, you will receive the white goods (e.g. fridge, cooker, or washing machine) and home furniture (e.g. beds, sofas, and chairs) you need provided from a list of approved partners.

How do I apply for the DAF Fund?

There are various ways to apply for the DAF Fund, but you can’t apply if you’ve already received a grant in the last seven days or have had three grants in the last year. Applications can also be made on behalf of someone else who is unable to complete the form independently.

EAP payments are usually processed within 24 hours unless you apply after 12pm on a Friday in which case you will receive a response the following Monday. IAP payments can take up to 10 days.

If your application is not approved, you can request a review.

We’ve outlined the different application methods below:

Online: https://www.gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf/how-apply

Address: Discretionary Assistance Fund
PO Box 2377
Wrexham
LL11 0LG

Telephone: 0800 859 5924 (9.30am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday)

Email: [email protected]

Conclusion

The DAF Fund is designed to help eligible individuals afford their day-to-day living costs after a financial emergency or live independently within their community.

Both versions of the fund – the EAP and the IAP – are grants, meaning they don’t need to be repaid and can be applied for up to three times within a rolling 12-month period as long as there is a gap of seven days between applications.

There is no set amount you’ll receive from the DAF Fund and your award will depend on your needs as outlined in your application.

Key Takeaways

The DAF Fund is a scheme introduced by the Welsh Government to help individuals who are experiencing extreme financial hardship and are struggling to afford their living costs
The DAF Fund is made up of two separate payments - the Emergency Assistance Payment and the Individual Assistance Payment
Different eligibility criteria apply depending on which of the two payments you apply for
The amount you'll receive with the DAF Fund depends on your individual circumstances and is decided by your local council
You can apply for the DAF Fund online, by email, over the phone, or by post
Maxine McCreadie

Maxine McCreadie

Author/Debt Expert

Maxine McCreadie, prominent personal finance writer featured in Vogue and Yahoo News, delivers practical guidance, simplifying money management and championing financial literacy.

How we reviewed this article:

HISTORY

Our debt experts continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

May 7 2024

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Ben McCormack

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