When we have talked to members of the Nuclear Survivor Community about the Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund one of the main questions we are asked is how does the system work? How are our applications considered?
First and foremost anonymity, only the Application Manager knows the identity of the applicant’s, this prevents favouritism and discrimination, ensuring every application is considered on its own merits.
If you need help, even if you are not sure what can be done for you simply get in touch. Nigel & Steve manage the applications process and are happy to advise, they can even arrange trials of equipment and, in the more complex cases, a full review by an Occupational Therapist.
To make an application we send you a form which you complete to the best of your ability. The form gives us most of the information the Grant Panel will need to make a decision.
When you return the form along with any additional documentation it is scanned into our system where it is held in a secure and encrypted format. The paper documentation is shredded. Working from the information provided in the application a completely anonymous case is created for the panel. The case is presented on a standard form that enables the panel to consider the application in accord with the NCCF CWI Fund criteria.
The fund was created to alleviate suffering and increase wellbeing and every application is considered against the following criteria:
- Does the applicant qualify for the fund?
- What issues does the applicant to suffer?
- What measures does the applicant need to address the suffering?
- Is it within the applicant’s gift to fund those measures?
- Is the provision of those measures within the scope of the CWI Fund?
Does the applicant qualify for the fund
To become a beneficiary of the fund applicants must be UK residents who are Nuclear Test Veterans who have served in the British forces, their spouses or their offspring (of any generation), this also includes spouses and offspring of deceased veterans.
New information on the Regulation of Grant Applications published in December 2018.
What issues does the applicant suffer
Suffering can be caused by many things, it is not just a case of physical condition, Mental health and even anguish at a situation causes suffering. Social isolation, not being able to pop to the shops or visit friends causes suffering. Many veterans worry not about themselves but about health issues with their offspring. When developing your application we try to identify all the factors affecting your suffering.
What measures does the applicant need to address the suffering
This is where the fund can become very creative, there are many ways to address suffering, it is not just a case of a Mobility Scooter or Stairlift, it could be a short break, adaptations to the kitchen or bathroom, a course of therapy. As we have progressed over the last three years managing applications we have gained a lot of experience in identifying measures to address suffering and will often make suggestions to applicants. Through Our website you can access the ‘asksara’ online OT Assessment, this is a great tool as you respond to the questions about mobility, access and your general physical abilities and ‘asksara’ will create an OT Assessment for you which will also identify equipment and measures that may address your needs. As we have said before, we may also conduct an ‘in home’ assessment using a qualified Occupational Therapist. Their reports are very useful and we provide you with a copy for your own use.
Is it within the applicant’s gift to fund those measures
Because the fund has a limited budget each year, we have to consider how best to address as many peoples needs as possible. To do this we have identified suffering caused by need of measures to address. If it is easily within the financial ability of the applicant to purchase the things identified to address the need and reduce or remove the suffering then the fund can not help them. This may seem harsh but consider; we have two applicant’s who need stairlifts, both are suffering the same physical disabilities and both need to get up and down stairs for sleeping bathing and toilet needs.
The stairlift costs £3500, Applicant A has £200 left over each month after paying all their bills, putting some aside for clothes, holidays and property maintenance. Applicant B has £800 left each month after their bills and expenses.
It would take both applicants’s a long time to save for the stairlift thus they are both unable to address the solution to their suffering. However, Applicant A has £28,000 in savings and Applicant B has £5000.
It now seems that both applicants have enough funds to buy a stairlift themselves. The panel would struggle to justify purchasing the items for them if this were the case, but further investigation shows Applicant B has no life insurances for themselves or their partner, so the £5000 is to pay their funeral expenses.
Now the panel can justify purchasing a stairlift for Applicant B as they clearly do not have the funds to address their need and the provision will thus increase their wellbeing.
These are not easy decisions and the Grant Panel have a duty to ensure the most needy of our beneficiaries are taken care of.
Is the provision of those measures within the scope of the CWI Fund
This consideration arises from the constraints placed on the fund by the terms of the Aged Veterans Fund Grant. The grant is what is known as a restricted fund which means that it can only be used for the purposes detailed within the original bid and the terms and conditions of the offer. The most crucial of these conditions is that there can be no duplication of state funding. This means that if a measure is available from the local council or NHS no funding can be used.
We are not allowed to make cash payments direct to beneficiaries, this includes ‘Financial Instruments’ which are items that can be exchanged in lieu of cash. Postage stamps, block booking travel tickets and items of that nature fall into this category. The fund can only be accessed by qualifying beneficiaries resident in the United Kingdom. The reason for this is that the fund purpose is to address shortfalls in UK provision for those people.
What Happens Next
The Grant Panel will arrive at one of four decisions:
Reject – The application is rejected.
In this instance, the panel will provide details of why an application has not been supported.
Defer – The panel feels they do not have enough information to make a fair and balanced decision. A deferral will be accompanied by a list of questions and tasks for the Application Managers to resolve with the applicant. Once these have been addressed the panel will review the application.
Agree in Principle – The panel may make this decision on an application that has not gathered all the facts for a formal decision. This is often the case where building works are required, the panel is confident they have all the other facts in place to approve but they need to ensure value for money and affordability of the provision before making a final decision.
Approved -The panel fully support the application and instruct the Application Managers to proceed.
My Application Has Been Approved
Congratulations, the Application Manager will write making a formal offer for you to sign, this is the agreement between the NCCF and yourself where you agree to the provisions to be made and the conditions of granting those provisions. Once we receive your signed acceptance goods and services are ordered and contractors engaged. All invoices come to the NCCF for payment. In the case of building works, we do not release the final payments to the contractors until we receive confirmation from you that everything had been completed.
We work hard to make the fund work for you and are continually improving our process. Lots of work has been carried out on the way data is segregated and stored so that only officials with a genuine need can access the records. Under the conditions of the AVF grant, all data relating to expenditure must be retained for seven years, after this time it will be securely destroyed.
To apply write to the NCCF for an application form at:
PO Box 8244