What is the DAF Fund?

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Maxine McCreadie


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The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) is a government scheme designed to help individuals and families in Wales who need help to live independently or are experiencing extreme financial hardship due to an unexpected crisis or disaster.

Introduced by the Welsh Government in 2017, the aim of the scheme is to assist those who are unable to meet their essential costs after exhausting all other means of financial support.

In this article, we’ll explore the DAF Fund in greater detail, including how it works, who is eligible, and how to apply.

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How does the DAF Fund work?

The DAF Fund is made up of two types of financial assistance: Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) and Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP).

Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)

The Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) is a grant designed to help vulnerable individuals who require financial assistance live independently within their community.

The payment, which does not need to be repaid, provides essential funding to those who need help to meet expenses and maintain a basic standard of living.

IAP can assist with a variety of basic living costs, such as food utilities, and clothing, and can be used to purchase white goods (fridge, cooker, washing machine) and home furniture (bed, sofa, chair).

Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)

The Emergency Assistance Payment, or Emergency Assistance Payments (EAP), is a grant designed to provide immediate financial support to individuals dealing with an emergency situation or crisis.

The payment, which does not need to be repaid, can help individuals meet their basic living costs in times of extreme financial hardship when their income doesn’t come close to covering their immediate expenses.

Examples of situations where EAP could help include a sudden job loss or a fire or flood in your home.

Who is eligible for the DAF Fund?

There are separate eligibility criteria for the Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) and the Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP).

Familiarising yourself with the eligibility criteria for both grants can help you determine whether your financial situation could qualify you for additional help and support.

Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)

The Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) has certain eligibility criteria you must meet if you want to qualify for certain items. For example, if you want to apply for white goods (fridge, cooker, washing machine), you must:

  • Live in Wales
  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Have no access to any other income sources and tried all other affordable funding sources (e.g. a credit union)
  • Not be living in a care home (unless you’re due to be discharged in the next six weeks)
  • Not be in prison (unless you’re due to be discharged in the next six weeks)
  • Not be a member of a fully maintained religious order

Additionally, you must be receiving one of the following benefit payments:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

Lastly, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are leaving a care home or institution (hospital, prison, or foster care) after a minimum of three months to live independently
  • You want to continue living in the community instead of going to 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

Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP)

The Emergency Assistance Payment (EAP) has certain eligibility criteria you must meet to qualify to receive payment under the scheme. To be eligible, you must:

  • Live in Wales
  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Be in extreme financial hardship (e.g. lost your job, have no money for food, gas, electricity, or emergency travel, or have applied for benefits and are waiting on your first payment)
  • Be in a crisis situation and in need of immediate financial support
  • Have no other money and tried all other legal and responsible lenders (e.g. a credit union)

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How do I apply for the DAF Fund?

The easiest way to apply for the DAF Fund is by visiting the Welsh Government website here. The application form will ask for details of your financial situation, including why you believe you are in a financial crisis or emergency.

Alternatively, if you have no access to the internet or would prefer to apply manually, you can also send an application:

By post:

Discretionary Assistance fund

PO Box 2377


LL11 0LG

Over the phone:

0800 859 5924 (9:30am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday)

By email:

[email protected]

However, it is worth noting that you will be unable to apply for a grant if you have:

  • Already received a grant within the last seven days
  • Already received three grants within the last year

Can I complain or challenge a DAF Fund decision?

While all the information you provide will be taken into consideration when you apply for financial support under the DAF Fund, sometimes problems can arise or you can receive a decision you weren’t expecting.

If you are not happy with the way your application was dealt with, you can complain using any of the above contact methods. Your complaint will be considered if:

  • You felt staff were discourteous or unhelpful
  • You believe the information you were given was misleading or inaccurate
  • You felt staff failed to follow policies or rules of procedure

Alternatively, if you’re not happy with the outcome of your application, you can request a review using this form.

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What other help can I get with living costs?

If you’re struggling with day-to-day living costs, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Whether you’re considering borrowing money for basic essentials or have Council Tax arrears, reaching out for help can prevent the situation from getting any worse.

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