With the cost of living crisis impacting everyone, we want to support you. If you’re struggling with your finances and need support, take a look what is on offer to you:
Breathing Space, officially called the Debt Respite Scheme, is a government scheme which could help relieve some of the stress caused by being in debt.
Breathing space is a free scheme, which was launched by the government in May 2021. It aims to help ease some of the pressure of dealing with your creditors, giving you temporary protection from most types of debt collection. During a Breathing Space you can focus on getting advice and setting up a plan to get on top of your debts, without worrying about being chased for payment or incurring extra charges.
If you pass the eligibility checks, your creditors won’t be able to add interest or fees to your debts, or take enforcement action, for 60 days. You’ll still need to keep making your regular payments if you can afford to.
For more information on Breathing Space, click here.
Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF)
The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) provides urgent grants to people in Wales as a last resort. The DAF provides 2 types of grants that you do not need to pay back.
Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)
A grant to help pay for essential costs, such as food, gas, electricity, clothing or emergency travel if you:
- are experiencing extreme financial hardship
- have lost your job
- have applied for benefits and are waiting for your first payment
You cannot use it to pay for ongoing bills that you cannot afford to pay.
Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)
A grant to help you or someone you care for live independently in their home or a property that you or they are moving into. This offers items such as cookers, washing machines, essential furniture etc.
PLEASE NOTE DAF DO NOT REPLACE BROKEN ITEMS.
You must meet one of the following to qualify:
- you are leaving a care home or institution (hospital, prison or foster carer) after 3 months (minimum) to live independently
- you want to stay living in the community rather than having to go into an institution (hospital or care home)
- you are setting up home after an unsettled way of life
- you need to move home quickly due to a relationship breakdown or domestic violence
- you are going to care for a prisoner or young offender released on a temporary license
You can apply for a DAF Emergency Assistance Payment online here or by calling 0800 859 5924.
We also encourage you to use Turn2Us grants that may be able to offer some support during these difficult times. You can explore the different help available based on factors such as your current employment or employment history.
Many funds will help people who have no access to public funds and cannot claim welfare benefits.
We’ve helped tenants in the past make grant applications, for example when they’ve worked in the hospitality industry, we’ve found a charity that could help, or for those who have worked in supermarkets we’ve helped them access Grocery Aid. Please note not all charities are open for applications.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Are you struggling with your rent payments?
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) may be able to help you.
What are DHPs?
DHPs are extra payments for tenants who need more help with their housing costs, usually where there is a shortfall between their rent and their benefit award. DHPs are generally only available as short-term assistance, not a long-term solution.
The Government provides councils with an amount of money to provide DHPs to those in need, which is why an application is required to identify if a DHP can be awarded.
Are you eligible?
You can apply for a DHP if you currently claim Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. You must be able to demonstrate financial difficulties or have experienced personal exceptional circumstances.
What can a DHP be used for?
DHPs can be used to cover a shortfall between Housing Benefit/ Universal Credit housing costs and rent for things like the under-occupancy charge (bedroom tax), the benefit cap or if you’re working or only getting and a portion of your rent paid by Housing Benefit/ Universal Credit due to other income.
In some circumstances DHPs can help towards removal costs if you need to move home.
How can you apply?
You can apply for DHPs online by visiting your local council website and searching ‘DHP’:
Rhondda Cynon Taf – www.rctcbc.gov.uk
Cardiff – www.cardiff.gov.uk
If you’re unable to apply online, you can contact your local council and ask for a paper form to be posted to you.
If you would like any support with your finances, please contact our Money Advice Team.
For more support with the cost of living crisis, visit our dedicated Cost of Living page.