FAQ's about the hardship fund

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What is the Hardship Fund?

The Irish Red Cross & Age Action Ireland launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in March to respond to the immediate needs of older people in vulnerable situations across Ireland experiencing additional hardship as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.     

How can I apply?

For all the details regarding how to apply for the hardship fund, CLICK HERE

Who can apply for the Hardship Fund?

Older people over the age of 65 who are in need of assistance, or individual advocates of older people. Note: In order for an application to be processed the signature and contact details such as name, address, date of birth and banking details of the older people must be on the application for verification.

What Can I apply For?

Any practical needs arising from additional costs that have arisen from Covid-19. Examples would be higher heating costs, food delivery, storage costs, communication support costs to connect with loved ones. Note: applications will be strengthened when a detailed cost breakdown is provided. 

I or the person I am applying for don’t have a bank account, what happens if I am successful?

Our preferred method is to transfer any monies awarded directly into the applicant’s bank account. In extreme circumstances, we will send out a cheque to the applicant at their home address.

We have sent an email to the hardship fund email address and haven’t received a reply. What shall we do?

We have received an extremely high volume of email and phone inquiries, especially since the 18th of April. We will get back to each email and phone query as soon as possible. At this stage, we are expecting a wait time of up to 14 days for email and phone inquiries.

How can I apply for the payment?

A form is available to download on the Irish Red Cross website. Completing the form and emailing it back to us is preferred. A friend or family member with internet access can complete and email it to us on your behalf.

Alternatively we can post an application for a limited time (until Friday 24th April) but we will need to receive it back as soon as possible.

I don’t have a bank account, can I apply?

Where an applicant does not have a bank account, a cheque can be posted to the applicant’s address if their application is successful.

Can I apply on behalf of an elderly parent?

Yes. However, please ensure all the details are for the applicant and not yourself.

I’m applying for my elderly parent, can I put my bank details instead of my parent’s?

No. To prevent fraud, the application must be filled with all the applicant’s details including their bank details.

I can’t print the form so I can’t sign at the signature line, what should I do?

Make a note on the form that it is not possible to do a signature at this time. We will accept the application.

I can’t sign at the signature line, what should I do?

Make a note on the form that it is not possible to do a signature at this time. We will accept the application.

When is the closing date for the Hardship Fund?

We have been inundated with demand for the Hardship Fund. Due to the volume of applications received, we are bringing the closing date forward to 5pm Friday 24th of April, 2020.

We have asked for a physical form to be sent out via email. What happens now with the date being brought forward?

We will not be accepting any more new applications or new queries from 5:01 pm Friday, 24th of April. However, any queries ( telephone, email & postal) and pending applications already in the system up to that time and date will be reviewed and processed accordingly.

How would you know if my application or inquiry is open or pending?

If you have sent the Irish Red Cross an email or left a phone message about the Hardship Fund before 5pm 24th of April, 2020, we will classify this as an open or pending query.

How do I know if my application will be accepted?

We have started putting a sticker on physical applications being mailed out from the 21.4.2020. It is important that you use the prepaid envelope with the sticker attached in order for your application to be accepted after the closing date OR if you are an open query.

If you have a timestamp dated 24th of April on your envelope, we will still accept this.

When will I make contact with Age Action or the Irish Red Cross about the Hardship Fund?

We understand there are questions about the hardship fund. As you can imagine, we have a large backlog of calls. The best way to contact the Irish Red Cross or Age Action Ireland is by sending us an email on hardship2020@redcross.ie. 

We advise not to call the Irish Red Cross or Age Action Ireland as we would like to open our phones to people inquiring about our other services. 

Is this Hardship Fund genuine?

Yes the Irish Red Cross have partnered with Age Action to provide once off payments to the most vulnerable older people in society who have been affected by Covid-19.

I am not over 65 but I am vulnerable, can I apply?

No, unfortunately the criteria for this fund is strictly for older people over 65 only.

I requested a postal application but I haven’t received it yet, what should I do?

We are dealing with a large backlog so please bear with us. If you gave your name and address you will receive an application as soon as possible.

I thought the closing date was August but now I see it is 24th April 2020, which one is correct?

Due to the huge volume of applications, we have had to bring forward the closing date to 5pm 24th April. Please email your application to us before 5pm on 24th April or you can still post it on 23rd or 24th April and make a note of the postal date at the top of the application.

I don’t have a scanner, will you accept a screenshot/photo of the application?

Yes, but please ensure the photos are of good quality and readable.

I live with my husband who is also over 65. Can we apply for two payments?

No, it is only one payment per household.

I have many health conditions and/or hardships and I am over 65 can I apply?

This fund is to help vulnerable people over 65 who have additional financial stress because of Covid-19 rather than general stresses or hardships. Please state on the application why you have additional hardship because of Covid-19.

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