The Society's Trustees set the broad criteria for support but ultimately decisions on who we will support are at the discretion of the Trustees and the criteria can be updated by them from time to time.
Currently, to receive support from the Society, an applicant's combined "Capital and Savings" must be below £16,000 (excluding the value of the house they live in if they own it). Our aim is to assess the funds available to the person if they need to use them, so we include any sums in Bank Accounts, ISA's, Bonds, the value of Shares, etc. We also include the value of any other property someone may own but we do not include the value of any vehicle or any paid-up funeral plans.
Applicants must also have "Qualifying Income” below £12,400 per annum. While this is the upper income limit for support from the Society, we have experienced a considerable increase in applications for assistance and so preference will be given to applicants with lower incomes. The Society has in the past applied a lower level of income for new applicants to the Society to avoid generating unrealistic expectations (and we may do so again the future) but for the time being this is no longer being applied.
The Society calculates "Qualifying Income" as follows:
Include (after tax, if deducted):-
- Income from employment
- ALL State benefits, including working age benefits, retirement benefits and disability benefits.
- £100 per year for every full £500 of capital /savings held in excess of £6000. (A calculation very similar to that undertaken by DWP and Local Councils when assessing applicants for some benefits).
- £25 per week (£1300 per year) assumed to be received from other adults aged 21 or over and sharing accommodation with the applicant/ beneficiary. This might include an adult child living with the beneficiary.
- Regular grants received from other charities.
- Net housing costs (rent or mortgage) and Council Tax the applicant has to pay after taking into account any relevant benefits or reductions received.
- Factoring costs, if applicable, up to a maximum of £1200 per year.
- Where the applicant receives Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payments or Disability Living Allowance, a proportion of these will be disregarded in the calculation of income in recognition that people on such benefits generally face higher living costs.
This methodology is applied to both new applicants and existing beneficiaries, to establish their on-going qualification for assistance from the Society. It has been developed by the Society's Trustees and so it may well be different from the calculations used by other charities or agencies.
Please note that in addition to the above criteria, the Society is unlikely to admit any applicant (or continue to support any beneficiary) who is subject to any bankruptcy / sequestration / voluntary agreement arrangements unless the person administering the process provides a written assurance that charitable payments made by the Society will be disregarded in their calculations. This is because the Society intends its payments to be made for the personal benefit of the beneficiary, not for their creditors.