Posted: Sun 29th Jan 2023

Over 30,000 sought financial help over Christmas period from Welsh Government’s Discretionary Assistance Fund

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jan 29th, 2023

Over 30,000 people in Wales sought financial help over the Christmas period, according to new figures released by the Welsh Government.

A total of 33,351 people who were suffering financial hardship accessed £2.36 million of cash payments from the government’s Discretionary Assistance Fund last month alone.

The DAF is designed to help those facing extreme financial hardship, such as job loss or waiting for first universal credit payments.

According to the Welsh Government, 200,000 people have been supported by the DAF in the 2022-2023 financial year, with £23 million given out in grants. In response to the cost of living crisis, the Welsh Government has also announced an additional £18.8 million in funding for the DAF in its draft budget for 2023-24.

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, has urged those struggling financially to check their eligibility for the DAF and other Welsh Government support schemes. Advicelink Cymru, a Citizens Advice targeted service, can offer advice and help to those who are struggling to pay their bills and check for support payments or benefits.

Luke Young, Assistant Director of Citizens Advice Cymru, has urged those experiencing financial hardship to seek help, stating, “Citizens Advice Cymru is here to help you find a way forward. We can check you are receiving all the benefits and payments you’re entitled to. Many people are worried about rising energy costs and debt.”

Victoria Winckler, Director of the leading Welsh think tank, the Bevan Foundation, has praised the DAF as a “lifeline for people in severe financial hardship.” The Welsh Government has also pledged £1.6 billion to address immediate pressures on living costs in Wales, including its fuel support scheme, which has seen 290,000 households in Wales receive £200 to help with fuel costs over the past year.

The Welsh Government encourages those concerned about their ability to pay bills or unsure of their eligibility for financial support to contact Advicelink Cymru by phone at 0808 250 5700 or via Relay UK for those who can’t hear or speak on the phone. Don’t miss out on the support you need.”

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