At Friends of the Elderly, we understand that making your way through the minefield of information about grants can be a daunting task. So, with this in mind, we’ve put together a list of helpful, frequently asked questions (FAQs), to help you understand the grant process.
We’ve endeavoured to cover all the salient points including what you’ll need for your application, how to start the process and who to liaise with from your initial enquiry through to being awarded a grant.
Of course, this is not a definitive list, but we hope that it will help you to start the process. In addition, for more general information about our required criteria, what we fund and how to apply, please click here for our following information sheets:
- Guidance Notes for Referral Agents
- Guidance Notes for Older People in Financial Need
- How to find a Referral Agent
It’s worth noting that there are there are no exceptions to the eligibility criteria.
We’ve also put together a selection of FAQs for Referral Agents as well that we hope you will find useful.
Helpful Frequently Asked Questions – For Older People Applying For A Grant
1. Can I apply for my parent / neighbour / friend?
No, unfortunately not. You must a have a Referral Agent to make the application on your behalf.
Please see our How to find a Referral Agent help sheet.
2. I do not have anyone to be my Referral Agent
There are a lot of options for who can be your Referral Agent and how to find one.
Examples of Referral Agents include:
Local authority representatives, social services representative, charities, housing associations, community organisations, tenants associations, Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) providers (e.g. Citizen’s Advice / CABx, Age UK), health and social care teams / keyworkers, health centres, social prescribers, cultural and religious centres (e.g. Churches, Mosques, Temples etc).
Your Doctor / GP surgery can be a referrer, but only if they are willing to submit the application and follow it through on its outcome.
Please see our How to find a Referral Agent help sheet.
3. I need more than £400, who else can help me?
Your Referral Agent should be able to help you identify other funders. We will of course make suggestions/signpost you to other potential funders that we know suit your needs/criteria.
Turn2Us has a useful telephone helpline and grant finding database. You can call them on 0808 802 2000, 8 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can email them at email@example.com or visit turn2us.org.uk
4. Can my partner / husband / wife also apply?
We only accept one application per household, per year.
If your partner (or someone else living with you and sharing household costs) is also eligible for our grants, you can apply for a joint application of up to £500.
5. An older relative has passed away, can I apply for help with their funeral costs?
Only if you meet the criteria for one of our grants yourself.
We cannot make grants to people who have passed away. Our grants for funeral costs are to help older people to pay towards funeral costs of a loved one, where they are responsible for the funeral bill
6. How long will it take?
While we aim to give a decision within four weeks of receiving a completed application with all the necessary evidence, this is only a guideline and cannot be guaranteed. You should not make plans dependent on this.
At exceptionally busy times we may take a little longer. Please do not chase us for updates, we are a small team and a high volume of update enquiries slows down our ability to process your grant applications.
7. Do we have to pay you back?
No. Any grant made is yours to keep.
8. Do you offer loans?
No, we do not offer loans.
If you are struggling with debts, you should contact Turn2Us – they have a useful telephone helpline and grant finding database.
9. I do not know my state pension age
You can check your state pension age at https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age/y
The state pension age is not the same for everyone, so if you are in any doubt please check.
10. I meet your criteria; will I definitely get a grant?
Our funds are limited so occasionally there may be times when even though you meet all our criteria, we have allocated our grant money for that period or have judged other competing applications to have a more urgent need, or because we are confident your application could be funded elsewhere.
Helpful Frequently Asked Questions – For Referral Agents
1. When can I expect to hear back about my application?
While we aim to give a decision after four weeks of receiving a completed application with all the necessary evidence, this is only a guideline and cannot be guaranteed. You should make our client aware not make plans dependent on this.
At exceptionally busy times we may take a little longer. Please do not chase us for updates, as mentioned above, we are a small team and a high volume of update enquiries slows down our ability to process your grant applications.
2. Why can’t you contact my client directly?
We offer a grants service across England and Wales but do not have the capacity to provide individual application support.
We use Referral Agents to ensure we can reach as many people as possible, and that those people have the support they need beyond just the grant itself.
Please explain to your client that you are the link between them and Friends of the Elderly and therefore any queries they have should come via you.
3. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic / Social Distancing I cannot meet my client to get evidence, what can I do?
We totally understand the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We accept photographs of evidence (for example taken on a mobile phone and texted to you by your client).
We may accept declarations of permission / consent where a signature is not possible.
In exceptional circumstances we may accept a declaration from you regarding your client’s financial circumstances. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this.
4. Can I change the grant request item after I have submitted an application?
Our grants are assessed based on the information you provide in your application.
Changes to your grant request would be for exceptional reasons only. Please email us at email@example.com to discuss this.
5. Do you know who else I can apply to for my client?
Where possible, we will make suggestions and signpost you to other potential funders that we know suit your client’s needs/criteria.
Turn2Us has a useful telephone helpline and grant finding database and helpline. You can call them on 0808 802 2000, 8 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit turn2us.org.uk
6. Why would you turn our application down?
Our funds are limited so there may be times when even though your application meets all our criteria, we have allocated our grant money for that period, or have judged other competing applications to have a more urgent need, or because we are confident your application could be funded elsewhere.
We will aim to temporarily close our application portal when we have reached our limit for spending for the period. Reopening again for the new period. We will state clearly on our website whether we are open for applications at the time, and if not, we will say when we are likely to reopen.
7. Do I need to provide a receipt for the item the grant has been spent on?
We may ask you to provide proof of purchase. You should be prepared to provide a receipt or other proof of purchase such as a bank statement if we do.
8. I have a question that is not answered in your FAQs
Please email email@example.com or leave a message including your name and phone number on 0330 332 1110.
A member of the team will get back to you within five working days.