Giving assistance to haemophiliacs infected with HIV through contaminated
blood products and their families in the United Kingdom

SUPPORT FOR BENEFICIARIES


REGULAR PAYMENTS

MFT makes discretionary regular top-up payments to primary beneficiaries with a household income below £37,900.  It also makes regular discretionary payments to bereaved spouses/partners who are on a household income below £19,000.

To establish if you qualify for discretionary regular payments, we will ask you to complete a yearly census form and provide supporting documentation to verify your income levels.

If you would like to apply, or if you have experienced a change of circumstances and would like your discretionary regular payments reassessed, please contact Keisha Hanchard, 020 7808 1171.


GRANTS

Following feedback from beneficiaries, MFT has introduced new guidelines for grants so that it is clear what support is and is not available.  Some grants can now also be processed through the office without going to the Grants Committee (formerly National Support Services Committee/NSSC). 

We have also introduced a new application form to be completed when grants are requested so that it is clear exactly what information is needed to process a grant and avoid any delays.  A copy of the application form can be found here. A copy of the application guidelines can be found here.

Application Criteria

We can now consider grants in the following areas:

Accommodation related grants, for example:

house repairs and adaptations related to health and mobility issues

costs associated with setting up home for the first time

Health related grants, for example:

mobility equipment

counselling

respite breaks following treatment for Hepatitis C

Education related grants, for example:

the cost of a vocational training courses

further education expenses

Bereavement related grants, for example:

funeral costs and, in some cases, funeral plans

costs of hospital travel for parents/dependants/carers/spouse to visit ill beneficiaries

Empowerment grants through the Honeycombe Legacy Fund (bereaved spouses/partners only)

grants from the Honeycombe Legacy Fund for bereaved spouses/partners for personal development and to develop economic independence, eg academic development, skills training, driving lessons

Making an application

A grant application form must be completed for a new grant request.  If more than one grant is being requested at the same time they can be submitted on the same form.

As a charity, MFT is required to be able to demonstrate “charitable need” and as such consider whether someone applying for a grant has the ability to fund it from their own resources.  This is why we ask for details of income and expenditure when grant requests are made.

Supporting evidence, for example medical letters to support grant requests, are required for some grants and details are listed on the application form.

In all cases where equipment is being purchased or work carried out we will require two quotes for the item to ensure a fair price has been quoted.

Processing the grants

Since May 2014 some grants can now be processed in the office and do not need to go to the Grants Committee if they meet certain criteria.

If your request falls outside of the criteria for office approval, is for retrospective items or a particularly large amount, it will be considered by the Grants Committee.  You will be informed if your grant is being considered by the Committee.

The Grants Committee meets every 6 weeks.  A completed application form and supporting documents need to be with the office 10 working days before the date of the Grants Committee.  The Grants Committee dates for the first 6 months of 2017 are as follows:

  • 30 January 2017
  • 1 March 2017
  • 11 April 2017
  • 24 May 2017

Once the Grants Committee has made its decision, applicants will usually be notified in writing of the outcome within 5 working days of the meeting.

Applications should be sent to Keisha Hanchard, 020 7808 1171.

What we cannot fund

Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, there are certain areas MFT will not be able to consider support for:

Private medical and dental treatment where this is available on the NHS

Hospital travel costs, as these can be refunded by the NHS for those on low incomes

Complementary therapy

Gym membership

General household items such as furniture and white goods (although these may be available as part of a setting up home grant)

Mortgage or rent assistance or costs associated with the purchase of a property

Legal Fees

Clothing or school uniforms

Holidays or travel insurance

Assistance with wills

Driving Lessons

Pet-related expenses (MFT can provide information about charities which provide support for pets where owners are on a low income)

Other ongoing financial assistance outside of discretionary top up payments

In addition, MFT is unlikely to consider grant applications for retrospective items, ie anything that has already been purchased, even if it would normally fall into an area that would be considered.  You are therefore strongly advised to make an application in advance. All retrospective requests will be considered by the Grants Committee on a case by case basis, and applications will need to demonstrate why an application could not be made in advance.

Appeals

If you are not happy with the decision taken regarding any grant application you have submitted, you can appeal the decision.  Appeals must be made in writing within one month of the decision date and you must provide new evidence in support of your appeal.  The appeal will be considered at the next Grants Committee meeting.  If the Grants Committee upholds its original decision, and you wish to appeal again, you may appeal again in writing within one month of the decision date.  The second appeal will be heard by the full board at its next scheduled meeting.

Further Questions 

If you have any further questions about your grant application or items we may be able to consider, please contact Keisha Hanchard, 020 7808 1171.


WINTER FUEL PAYMENTS

In 2016/17 Winter fuel payments for primary beneficiaries where infection occurred in England, Scotland and Wales will be paid through the new increased payments being made by MFET and the Skipton Fund, following the reform by the respective governments.

For those primary beneficiaries in receipt of a discretionary top up payment, where infection occurred in Northern Ireland, MFT will make a winter payment in 2016/17 as in previous years and we will write to those who are eligible with more information.


BENEFITS ADVICE

MFT is able to refer clients to a specialist Benefits Adviser, who can advise on a wide range of benefits-related issues.  This service is free to MFT beneficiaries.  If you would like a referral, please contact Keisha Hanchard, 020 7808 1171.


ADVICE ON DEBT AND MONEY MANAGEMENT
 

MFT is also able to refer beneficiaries to a specialist adviser on debt and money management issues.  This service is also free to MFT beneficiaries.  If you would like a referral, please contact Keisha Hanchard, 020 7808 1171.


COUNSELLING SERVICE

MFT may be able to provide a one off grants towards counselling, if support is not available through your GP or local NHS trust or if you are on a waiting list for counselling through the NHS. If you would like to apply for a  grant towards counselling please contact Keisha on keisha@macfarlane.org.uk or 020 7808 1171 to request a grant application form.

You may also find it useful to speak to the Hepatitis C Trust. The Hepatitis C Trust run a range of support services for those with hepatitis C and their families. This includes a confidential help line which provides peer led support around all aspects of hepatitis C. For more information visit:http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/support/helpline . If you are looking for counselling, they can also support you in finding local counsellors in your area. The Hepatitis C Trust helpline: 0845 223 4424 or 0207 089 6221 (open 10:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday) or by email –helpline@hepctrust.org.uk.


PRESCRIPTION PRE-PAYMENT CERTIFICATES

The Department of Health introduced a scheme to enable primary beneficiaries to claim a prescription pre-payment certificate (PPC) through the Macfarlane and Eileen Trust (MFET) if they are not otherwise exempt from prescription charges.  Two forms need to be completed by those who are applying for a PPC.  To apply you must complete the MFET prescription pre-payment certificate application form along with an FP95 form and return both forms to the office.  On receipt of the completed forms, applications will be sent for processing and the PPC will be sent directly to you by the NHS Business Services Authority.

Both application forms can be downloaded below:

PPC application form

FP95 form 

 

The Macfarlane Trust    Alliance House    12 Caxton Street    London    SW1H 0QS
Registered Charity Number 298863    Information Commissioners Office Registration Number Z986535X