General Support Scheme

Our Policy

The NIPF is committed to supporting police officers injured through direct terrorist violence and, as appropriate, their widows/widowers and parents. Therefore, the Fund has introduced a ‘General Support Scheme’ to offer financial assistance to ex police officers and their widows/widowers and parents who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of bereavement, injury or disability. This scheme is essentially about awarding payments to assist clients to carry out essential home maintenance work, to replace or repair basic household items or furniture and otherwise to assist the purchase of equipment, all of which will improve the quality of the individual’s life, and have a long term positive impact on their home circumstances.

Eligibility

In order to benefit from the general support scheme you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be an eligible seriously injured ex police officer
  • You must be an eligible widow or widower
  • You must be an eligible parent of a murdered officer.

Police officer refers to members of the RUC/RUC Reserve and PSNI/PSNI Reserve who were victims of direct terrorist violence. The scheme does not include serving police officers as it is aimed at addressing those clients who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of terrorist related injury or loss.

‘Seriously injured’ means that the police officer would have been entitled to a minimum ‘Injury on Duty (IOD) Band 2 medical discharge as determined by an occupational physician. Injuries may be physical, psychological or both. The injury must also be as a result of direct terrorist violence.

In the case of officers or part time officers who are not eligible for an IOD award, the Fund will consider such other evidence of eligibility as it considers relevant. Invariably this will include submitted professional evidence from a qualified medical practitioner detailing the nature and extent of injuries.

Widows and widowers are spouses of those officers whose deaths occurred as a result of direct terrorist violence. However, spouses of eligible officers who are already in receipt of support from the NI Police Fund will continue to be eligible for support where their officer spouse dies due to natural causes.

Details about the Scheme

This scheme replaces two earlier existing schemes run by the NIPF. These were the Disability Support Scheme and the Bereavement Support Scheme. These schemes are both no longer in operation.

The new scheme can provide financial support up to a maximum limit of £4,000 in any single financial year. However, where the applicant is a recipient of the NIPF’s regular payment scheme, then this limit is raised to £6,000.

Funding will not be awarded for items valued at less than £150.00 unless the applicant can demonstrate that they do not have the necessary disposable income.

Information which you must provide

You must use the correct application form. You need to provide all of the information requested in order that we can process your application. Do not be concerned if you are not used to filling in applications or if you don’t fully understand what is being asked of you. You can ring one of our Assessment Team and they will help talk you through what is required. They can also call out to you in your home, if you would find this more helpful. The details on how to contact the Team or arrange for a visit or at the back of the application form.

As the Fund needs to conduct an assessment of need for all applications under this scheme, a home visit by one of our Assessment Officers will usually be required.

When completing an application you will be asked to:

  • Show that there is an obvious need for the items or work requested.
  • Give evidence that there will be a long term positive impact as a result of any grant awarded.
  • Provide details of your financial circumstances as set out on the application form
  • Submit the correct number of quotations from suppliers. The quotations must be on letter headed paper, detailing the supplier’s address and contact telephone number, or in the case of items be clearly from the supplier stated.

Providing Quotations

Quotations must be supplied in respect of all items / works for which the applicant is seeking assistance. The number of quotations relates to the value of the work or items being requested. The table below outlines the number of quotations required in each case.

VALUE OF ITEM / WORKS QUOTATIONS REQUIRED

Up to £1,000.00                1 quotations required
Over £1,000.00                 2 quotations required

The purpose of requiring quotations is to ensure that the applicant is seeking value for money. This is necessary as the NIPF supports its clients through the awarding of public money and it must demonstrate that it is using public funds appropriately. The quotation requirement will be subject to periodic review.

Some items are capped by the Fund. Details are set out in an accompanying information sheet and can be explained further by one of our Assessment Officers.

How your application will be assessed

When your application is received by the Fund, it will firstly be considered by an Assessment Officer. The Assessment Officer may already have conducted a home visit and will have checked that you are an eligible client of the Fund. This is the key criteria in all cases, as the NIPF can only provide support to eligible clients of the Fund.

Funding will be subject to recommendations and a financial profile assessment conducted by the Assessment Officer. Their recommendation will be made following consideration of how pressing the need is; what kind of quality improvement will the work/item provide, the likely duration of the benefit; the availability of support from alternative providers; whether their appears to be value for money and any other material facts arising. The Assessment Officer will submit this report, along with your application, to Directors to consider at a subsequent Case Conference where your applications, and others, are discussed.
Directors, mindful of policy considerations, and guided by the Funds principles, will then take a decision as to whether or not to provide the funding requested. They may attach conditions to the funding where they believe these are necessary.

Additional Information

If you have had an application approved but the item/service supported has not exceeded £4,000 in a given financial year, then you may make up to one additional application to the Fund in the same year. You must appreciate that the £4,000 limit is not something which clients should aspire to using in any given year. The Fund does not ‘set aside’ or allocate £4,000 for every client. Each application is judged strictly on the basis of need. All payments are made at the discretion of the Board.

There is a right to appeal if your application has been refused or met only in part. The appeal will be laid before the Board of Directors. You should note that merely stating that you disagree with the outcome does not provide the Board with any additional information upon which to consider your appeal. Therefore, you must provide additional information or further explanation to point out how the decision has been incorrectly made.

Full details of our appeals process are set out in our Appeals Information Sheet available upon application to the Fund and accessible from