Questions & Answers

Top ten queries

If you have registered for an online account with us then you can check online at any time that your bank details are correct, the last 3 numbers of your bank account number will be displayed online. If the last 3 digits do not correspond to your current bank account then you must select the option “these details are not correct please remove” and our system will automatically remove the bank details that we hold. Should we need your bank details for a grant award then we will contact you for at that time.

If you are not registered for an online account with us please write to us at the address below to obtain a bank details form. If you prefer, you can contact us by email on info@familyfund.org.uk but please do not telephone us as we are unable to change bank account details over the telephone.

Family Fund
4 Alpha Court, Monks Cross Drive
Huntington
York YO32 9WN

If you provide incorrect bank details, we may not be able to recover an awarded amount. Please ensure you provide correct, up to date bank details.

If you are registered for an online account with us then certain contact details can be changed online at any time e.g. address details, telephone numbers, email address.

To change your details you will be required to answer additional security questions.  The answers to the security questions will be memorable information that you choose. Memorable information should be personal to you, not known by anybody else and not visible in your online account with us. Where you change details with us we will send you a confirmation email. If you change your email address please be aware a confirmation will be sent to both the old and new email address. IMPORTANT - Any email address that you use to register your online account with us must be secure as we will use this address to communicate with you about your application.

If you are not registered for our online account with us or the details that you wish to change cannot be amended online then please send a signed letter to our address below quoting your Family Fund number, your previous address and your new address, including any new telephone numbers and we will update our records. We cannot accept change of address confirmation by email.

 

Family Fund
4 Alpha Court, Monks Cross Drive
Huntington
York YO32 9WN

The Family Fund online account will be available to register from Monday 13th May.  The original launch date of 1st May has been delayed due to further work and testing needed.  Please visit our 'apply online' page on the 13th to register.  If you need to check if you have an email address registered with us, please contact our team directly.

 

You can download an application form from our how to apply page.  This also gives you details of our online application process.  If you are unable to download and print an application form yourself, please fill out our online contact form and an application form will be sent out to you.  This can take up to seven days.

If you have been helped before, you can check if we have received your new application and the progress of it on our check my application page. Simply enter your six-digit Family Fund number and the status of your grant will be shown.

You can also check the progress of your application by texting your Family Fund number to 01904 500016 and we will send you a message, usually within five minutes. Texts are charged at your standard network rate. This is an automated system and cannot be used for any other query.

If you have applied to us before you can check the progress of your application online. Or you can send a text to 01904 500016 with just your Family Fund number and we will text you back with an update on your application.

If this is the first time you have applied to us please be aware that it can take up to four months to deal with an application. We will contact you to confirm receipt of your application as soon as possible. If you have not heard from us within two months of sending us your application then it is likely we have not received it from you.

Please note that all timescales given are approximate and are not guaranteed. The actual time to deal with an application will depend on the volume of applications we have and the level of funding available at any particular time. We deal with information in order of receipt to be fair to all families who apply.

Your Family Fund number is on all correspondence that you receive from us.  If you cannot find any of our letters, you can use our online contact form to request your number to be sent to you. 

Make sure you make a note of this and keep it safe for all further queries.

If you are applying for the first time, you will not have been allocated a Family Fund number and need to fill out a paper application in full.  Once this has been returned and registered, you will get your Family Fund number.  Keep this safe for future use.

If this is the first time you have applied to us please be aware that it can take up to four months to deal with an application.

If you have applied to us before you can check the progress of your application. You will need to have your Family Fund number to use this service.

Please note that all timescales given are approximate and are not guaranteed. The actual time to deal with an application will depend on the volume of applications we have and the level of funding available at any particular time. We deal with information in order of receipt to be fair to all families who apply.

For three months after making your award we will consider any changes you wish to make.

You will need to contact us to discuss any changes before spending your grant so we can update our files. This is vital to ensure we update our records and award alternative grants in an appropriate way. Failing to do this may result in problems with your future applications.

You should contact us as soon as you can.  Visit our contact us page for details on how to do this

Grants - who we help

We help families who are raising a child or young person who has a disability, additional complex needs or a serious illness.

You can apply to the Family Fund if:

  • You live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
  • You are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under.
  • You have evidence of your entitlement to one the following: Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit*, Employment Support Allowance*, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit. If you do not receive any of the above, further information may be needed to complete your application.
  • You have permanent legal residency in the UK and have lived in the UK for six months.

*We may need to contact you for further information.

Please only send photocopies of your information/evidence, not originals, as we cannot return these to you.

Children are not likely to meet the Fund’s criteria where their main or only difficulty is one of the following:

• They have eczema, asthma or allergies
• They have specific educational difficulties – such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or poor literacy
• Their condition is stable and managed through medication, diet, monitoring, testing bloods or transfusions and there have been no recent medical crises as a result of their condition

Although a child may not meet our criteria and be eligible for help at first, this can change over time and they may well come within our criteria later on.  Or a child’s condition may have deteriorated since last time and you now feel they would meet our criteria.
If you are in doubt as to whether your child or young person would meet the Fund's criteria, please apply. When we receive your application, we will check that it meets all our eligibility criteria.

We confirm a child meets our disability criteria each time an application is made.  Although children may meet our criteria initially, this may change over time due to medical intervention, medication, dietary or other management of their condition or as they get older.   

The Family Fund can consider applications from families who are permanent residents in the UK who are eligible to work and apply for public funds (benefits) and they have lived in the UK for at least 6 months (or 3 months where the child is less than 6 months old.)

For example
• British citizens (holders of British passports) 
• Memebers of the British Armed Forces currently posted outside the UK
• Serving Gurkha and Commonwealth soldiers who hold British forces Immigration exemption
• British families working in British embassy outside the UK
• Nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA).  Applications from Romanian or Bulgarian nationals can only be considered if they have been in the UK for at least 12 months and have ‘recourse to public funds’(benefits)

Non-UK or non-EEA nationals who have in date ‘leave to remain ‘giving permission to  work and apply for public funds (benefits)

For example 

• have Border and Refugee status
• Indefinite leave to remain
• Humanitarian protection
• Exceptional leave to remain
• Discretionary leave to remain

The Family Fund cannot accept application from families who are
• On holiday in the UK
• Residents of the Isle of Man/ Channel Islands, as these islands are not part of the UK or the European Economic Area. 
• Have applied to the Home Office, UK Border Agency for permission to enter and remain in the UK, including asylum seekers and are waiting for a decision.
• Are living in a foreign embassy or foreign forces property where they technically live in their land of origin
• In the UK on a work permit/ student visa
• In the UK but have overstayed their visa terms or duration
• In the UK illegally and have not requested permission to stay from the Home Office, UK Border Agency

 

The vast majority of applications we receive on a day-to-day basis are from families receiving tax credits or one of the listed benefits. The number of families that does not fall into either group is very small. If a family is not getting tax credits (for example, they have just had a new baby and are not claiming yet) or one of the benefits, we will ask what their household income is and what it is made up from.

  • A child has been in hospital for a long period and the family are requesting help with a holiday or outings for when the child is discharged.
  • A child has a life threatening, or life limiting condition, and this is the family’s first application, but the family are asking for items that would not fall within the Fund’s Urgent application policy.
  • A child is awaiting planned major surgery, and the family are requesting items related to the inpatient stay, or a holiday to be taken before planned surgery as child will not be able to travel for some time following procedure.
  • Family have been offered suitable LA or Social housing, the move is related to the child’s needs and the requests are related to the move. E.g. the family have been offered adapted accommodation
  • The priority request if for a washing machine, and this request is related to renal failure, or undergoing chemotherapy

Due to limited funding we can only consider one application per family in any 12 month period, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Families must meet all our eligibility criteria in order to be considered for a grant, and the child needs to meet our disability criteria. All grants from the Family Fund are discretionary and subject to available funding. There is no entitlement to our help and we cannot guarantee to offer help every time a family applies to us.

Grants - how we help

You are responsible for ensuring you have adequate travel insurance to cover emergencies whilst travelling and on your break.

We award family breaks using Travel by Inspire, Haven or Butlins. If our family break options are not suitable we maybe able to consider an alternative request.

Family break grants are given for the benefit of the disabled or seriously ill child or young person. The grant must be used towards the cost of a family break that includes the disabled or seriously ill child or young person.

In exceptional cases, the Fund may award a family break grant so that parents/carers and perhaps also the disabled child’s brothers and sisters can have a break that does not include the disabled child. For example, it may be appropriate for the parents to take a sibling on a short break whilst the disabled child is in respite care.

If you are applying for a grant for a family break that will not include your disabled child, you must give this information when making your application.

The amount awarded may be less than the full value of your break. Although we try to award the largest amount possible, it is a contribution towards the cost of your break.

You will receive a Family Breaks & Travel Card from Travel by Inspire in the post, then you have three ways to discuss and book your family break:

1. You can call Travel By Inspire on 0843 411 6542

2. Go to www.travelbyinspire.co.uk/familyfund

3. Find your nearest travel agency that accepts the Travel by Inspire Family Breaks & Travel Card by calling 0843 411 6542. Then go along to the store and the agency can talk you through your options and book your family break.

The cards are not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash.

The family break grant is a contribution towards the cost of a break. You can choose to add your own funds to the grant so that you can get your ideal break.

The Fund awards grants in the form of a payment card, vouchers, goods, a cash payment or services.

The Family Fund provides many of its grants directly through suppliers:

  • Euronics – laundry equipment, refrigeration and dishwashers
  • Stone computers – desktop PCs, laptops and tablets
  • Haven Holidays – UK family break
  • Butlins - UK family break
  • Travel by Inspire – UK or overseas family break
  • Argos – Item stated on the award letter, for example bed, furniture or recreation
  • Clothing card – for BHS, Matalan, Debenhams, New Look and River Island
  • Learning SPACE - sensory toys 
  • Atlantic - trampolines

Have a look at our how we help pages for more information

All Family Breaks & Travel Cards are issued with an expiry date of 6 months from issue. This date can be viewed on your online account or by calling 0843 4116542. You must book your break and spend the grant in full by this date, however your date of travel can be anytime after the expiry date. If there are any unused funds remaining on Family Breaks & Travel Cards at the expiry date, they will be cancelled and the balance will be returned to the Family Fund.We would advise you to make your booking as soon as possible. You will lose any of the grant left at this time. 

You can either spend the grant on one longer break or a number of shorter breaks. It is entirely up to you. Our travel partner can provide breaks abroad, but they are also able to book UK based short breaks including cottages, theatre tickets, theme parks, zoos, sporting events and many other UK based breaks.

Only in exceptional circumstances will we offer a cash alternative. We cannot give grants for, or reimburse you for, any items you have already bought before getting a grant from us. If you receive a grant for an item you no longer need, please contact us straight away so we can talk about whether we can help you in some other way.

We are unable to give grants for, or reimburse you for, any break that you have already booked or taken. However, we may be able to award a family break grant for next year or we could help with another item.

“Spend Vouchers” to be redeemed in the shops, bars and restaurants in Haven Parks can be requested as part of the grant. Please note that the value of these vouchers is included in the total grant and is NOT in addition to it.

When your grant is awarded, an account will be opened for you with Haven and the grant amount will be paid in to this account. You can then contact Haven to book your break. You must book your break(s) within 9 months of the date of your award. You will lose any of the grant left at that time. We would advise you to make your booking as soon as possible.

You must make booking with Butlins within 9 months of receiving your Butlins family break grant. If a booking has not been made or if there are any unused funds at this point, these will be returned to the Family Fund.

When your grant is awarded, an account will be opened for you with Butlins and the grant amount will be paid in to this account. You can then contact Butlins to book your family break.

You have two options.

1.  Up to £100 of any grant can be changed into “Spend Vouchers” which can be used in the shops, bars and restaurants on your chosen resort, or

2.  Butlins will keep any grant in your account for you to use at a later date, as long as it is used within 9 months.

Any funds in the account after 9 months will be returned to the Family Fund.

The Family Fund pays all cash awards directly into the bank account of the applicant. The Fund is unable to pay money into Post Office accounts. If you do not have a bank account we recommend that you open a basic bank account that will enable you to access your grant.

Almost everyone should be able to open a basic bank account. This account allows you to receive money and pay bills. The main features are that you can pay in cheques for free, take money out at a cash machine and pay bills by direct debit or standing order. There is no cheque book, debit card or overdraft facility on a basic bank account. A free leaflet on basic bank accounts is available from the Financial Services Authority. To order a copy please call 0845 606 1234 or visit their website at www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk

If you are unable to open a basic bank account and think that goods might be the solution for you please write goods only in the bank account details section of the application form.

You can, with their permission, nominate and provide the details of a person whose account you can have your cash grant paid into. This person must sign the application form and agree to:

  • Their details being kept by the Family Fund
  • The Family Fund making cash payments to them into this account
  • Pass any monies paid to the applicant
  • Return any money to the Family Fund if there is a problem handing the money over

Please note that if you nominate another person’s bank account to have your cash grant paid into, the Family Fund cannot recover money if the account holder then fails to pass the cash grant on. This is why we recommend that you open a basic bank account for the Family Fund to pay money into

The Family Fund receives specific amounts of funding and as such we are not able to help with every item requested. We do try to help with the main priority item requested.

Any related content: If you receive a grant for an item you no longer need, or the amount awarded is more than you need please contact us straight away so we can talk about whether we can help you in some other way.

Your award should be in your nominated bank account within 5 working days of the date shown in your award letter.

The Family Fund are working in partnership with Stone Computers to supply you with a good quality and high specification computer. You can currently choose between either a laptop or a desktop.

Laptop - typical specification

  • 3 year Anti-virus software
  • Intel Dual Core processor
  • 15.6" HD widescreen TFT monitor
  • CD/DVD re-writer combo drive
  • Windows 7 and MS Works 2009
  • 2GB memory
  • 3 year warranty and accidental damage cover
  • WiFi enabled
  • Hard drive 160GB
  • Net intelligence internet security software

Mini-Tower Desktop - typical specification

  • 3 year Anti-virus software
  • Intel Dual Core processor
  • 18.5" widescreen multimedia monitor
  • CD/DVD re-writer combo drive
  • Windows 7 and MS Works 2009
  • 2GB memory
  • 3 year warranty and accidental damage cover
  • WiFi enabled
  • Hard drive 250GB
  • Case dimensions D 370mm W 200mm H 404mm
  • Net intelligence internet security software

Computers supplied by Family Fund using Stone computers have a three year warranty. You need to Contact Stone Computers on 0844 880 1680 to book repairs.

Many families do not have house insurance to cover goods which we provide if they break down, are lost or stolen. We also have an extended warranty so that once you have the awarded item, you will be certain it will last for at least the warranty period, and will not need to apply for the same item again within this period. This means we can provide other goods and items which may be just as essential, instead of providing the same item the next time you apply.

Grants - how to apply

If you have applied to us before you do not need to send any additional information with your application. We will contact you if we need any further information.

If this is the first time you have applied to us then we will need the following information:

  • A copy of an award letter for one of our qualifying payments.
  • A copy of your child’s Disability Living Allowance (DLA) award letter.
  • Please only send photocopies of your information, not the originals, as we cannot return these to you.

If you have applied for a Family Fund grant in the past, you can now register for a Family Fund online account.  This will make it easier to manage and monitor applications and update details. 

To register, you must be the main carer, have an email address already registered with us and have a Family Fund number. 

For more details on how to register, visit our apply online page.  Unfortunately, those applying to Family Fund for the first time cannot register for our online account, please see our how to apply section.

If this is the first time you have applied to us please be aware that it can take up to 4 months to deal with an application.

If you have applied to us before you can check the progress of your application by clicking here. You will need to have your Family Fund number to use this service.

Please note that all timescales given are approximate and are not guaranteed. The actual time to deal with an application will depend on the volume of applications we have and the level of funding available at any particular time. We deal with information in order of receipt to be fair to all families who apply.

We try to help families caring for a severely disabled child or young person once every year, and will consider a grant application usually 12 months from the date of the last grant. Your last award letter will state when we can next consider an application. We do understand that sometimes the need for help can be greater especially if there is an emergency or critical situation relating to a disabled child or young person. If this happens we can be flexible and consider an early application.

If you have had help from us within the last 3 years and there has been no change to your circumstances or your child’s condition then you may be able to apply online by clicking here. Alternatively you can download an application form to fill in and send to us by clicking here. You can also request an application form by emailing us at info@familyfund.org.uk - if possible please do not telephone us to request an application form. The telephone lines are extremely busy and you may have a considerable wait to speak to an advisor.

Please send a signed letter to us quoting your Family Fund number, your previous address and your new address, including any new telephone numbers and we will update our records. We cannot accept change of address confirmation by email.

Please write to us to obtain a bank details form. If you prefer, you can contact us by email on info@familyfund.org.uk but please do not telephone us as we are unable to change bank account details over the telephone.

If you provide incorrect bank details, we may not be able to recover an awarded amount. Please ensure you provide correct, up to date bank details.

Grants - after you apply

If you received a Travel by Inspire Family Break & Travel Card, you should contact Travel by Inspire on 0843 411 6542. 
If you received Thomas Cook vouchers, they should be your first point of contact in the event of any problems you have relating to your family break itself.  Use the customer helpline that is stated on your travel documents.

Contact the Family Fund if you have any problems with your grant.

White goods awarded through Euronics are covered for five years with the exception of Cookers and Tumble dryers awarded after 1 May 2010 which are three years. Tumble dryers awarded before 30 April 2010 where awarded with 5 year warranty. For repairs please contact Euronics directly on 01264 320 500.
For goods supplied by our previous supplier Comet, these cover the same warranty periods. For repairs please contact 0844 854 0943.

We try to look at applications received within six weeks of receipt of our Assessor's report.
Please note: All timescales given are approximate and are not guaranteed. The actual time to deal with an application will depend on the volume of applications we have and the level of funding available at any particular time. We deal with information in order of receipt to be fair to all families who apply.

We review all information in the order in which we receive it. We do receive a large volume of information to work through and it can take up to 12 weeks to review your information once it is returned to us. We will contact you once we have considered the information you have sent us.

We ask that you only send photocopies of information supporting your application as we cannot return these to you.

If you need a repair on an item covered by a warranty please contact the appropriate supplier on the number below.

• For appliances purchased from Euronics, call your local store from where you purchased or call the main repair line 01264 320504.

• For appliances purchased from Vision Sales Direct in Northern Ireland, please ring 0289 267 4120.

• For appliances purchased from Comet, please ring the manufacturer.

If you need a repair on an item covered by a warranty please contact the appropriate supplier on the number below.

  • For appliances purchased from Comet, please ring the Warranties Group on 0844 854 0943.
  • For appliances purchased from Vision Sales Direct in Northern Ireland, please ring 0289 267 4120.

If you have applied to us before you can check the progress of your application by clicking here. Or you can send a text to 01904 500016 with just your Family Fund number and you will be texted back with an update on your application.

If this is the first time you have applied to us please be aware that it can take up to 4 months to deal with an application. We will contact you to confirm receipt of your application as soon as possible. If you have not heard from us within 3 months of sending us your application then it is likely we have not received it from you.

Please note that all timescales given are approximate and are not guaranteed. The actual time to deal with an application will depend on the volume of applications we have and the level of funding available at any particular time. We deal with information in order of receipt to be fair to all families who apply.

Haven should be your first point of contact for any problems about the break itself. Contact the Family Fund if you have any problems with your grant.

If a break is booked through Haven and you do not spend the full Value of the grant, you are allowed to spend up to £100 of the grant while on the Haven site. Haven may be able to assist when you book your break by providing specialist caravans and equipment.

We recommend you contact Butlins straight away to check availability of your chosen family break dates. They will also tell you the booking process and inform you of the break options open to you.

No. Your grant award is already waiting for you at Butlins and can only be used by contacting them directly on 0845 070 4460.

Butlins should be your first point of contact in the event of any problems that you have relating to your break.

This is the number that is given to you when you make your first application. You will use this number on all future applications to the Fund. Your Family Fund number can be found on any letters we have sent to you.

The Fund awards grants in the form of a payment card, vouchers, goods, a cash payment or services. All Family Fund grants must be used to buy the item stated in our award letter including warranties. Only the named cardholder can use any card provided by the Family Fund. Any items bought using a card must not be sold or transferred to anyone else. Vouchers should also not be sold or exchanged for cash.

Items bought with cash grants should be

  • new or almost new and in good condition.
  • fit for the purpose intended and to last for a reasonable period of time – this will depend on the item and how much it is used.

Items should not knowingly be purchased or obtained from a supplier that is not reputable – for example buying goods that may be stolen or counterfeit goods.

If you get a grant from us, you must get and keep receipts for what you buy with it. The receipts must be sent to us if we ask for them.

If you receive a grant for an item you no longer need, or the amount awarded is more than you need please contact us straight away so we can talk about whether we can help you in some other way.

All Haven accommodation has a maximum number of occupants and, depending on the specific grade of accommodation, this can be for up to 8 persons. Should a second caravan, chalet or apartment be required, this can be arranged by the additional persons making up any funding shortfall.

Contact us

Our telephone number is 01904 621115.  For information on call charges, please see our Contact Us page.

As we help over 66,900 families a year the telephone lines are always extremely busy. We do try to answer all telephone calls; however, as a charity we do have limited resource and the majority of our team work in awarding your grants.

You can help us by only telephoning if you have an urgent enquiry or by filling out our online contact form.

If you do need to telephone, our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Alternatively you can text us to request progress of your application by texting your Family Fund number to 01904 500016.

Other information

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