Type of Help Available

What help is available to Freemasons and their families?

Grand Charity provide financial support for Freemasons and their dependents who are experiencing financial hardship, provided that they fall within our guidelines for assistance. Grants may be made towards essential daily living costs or unexpected needs. It is important to remember that the maximum Masonic Relief Grant available is £7,000.00, but most grants are for considerably less than this.

How Long Does a Grant Last For?

Grants are intended to last for a minimum period of one year.

When Can I Re Apply?

A renewal application form will be sent out 3 months prior to the 1st anniversary of the last application so that it can be ascertained whether the applicant is still in need of assistance.

Can I apply to the Transferred Beneficiaries Fund?

No. This Fund does not accept new applications

What help is available to people living in care homes?

The Charity is not, under normal circumstances, in a position to accept third-party top-up liability for applicants who may now reside in a Care Home. However, it will consider applications to top-up the daily living expenses allowance for residents who have expended all of their income to pay the home fees. It is important to remember that the maximum Masonic Relief Grant available is £7,000.00.

Eligibility Requirements

Who can apply for a grant?
Any Brother initiated into a Lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England, or who has joined from another Constitution, may apply to the Grand Charity for financial assistance. If at the time of the death of a Brother he would have been qualified, the Masonic Relief Grants Committee may, if it thinks fit, grant assistance to his widow, or any other person with whom he had been closely connected immediately before his death, for general living requirements.
Can the Charity provide short-term or emergency assistance?
Yes. In certain circumstances a grant can be approved and payment issued within as little as 48 hours. The Charity is also able to support individuals experiencing temporary hardship. For example, support with living costs whilst seeking employment following redundancy.

Application Process

Why do you need so much information on the application form?
A complete picture is essential if the Charity is to provide support that fully reflects the needs of the individual. As grants take the form of financial support it is essential that the Charity has details of the applicant’s income and expenditure.
Can the application form be completed over the telephone?
No. The application form must be completed during a face-to-face meeting with the applicant in their own home. This is essential as it provides an opportunity for the Visiting Brother to identify problems that may not otherwise be apparent.
How long does it take to process an application?
Following receipt of the application by the office, a decision is usually taken within four to eight weeks. Delays may occur if the form is incorrectly completed or if further information is required.
I am the Visiting Brother, where can I get advice on completing the form?
The ELMC Welfare Officer, The Provincial Grand Almoner, District Almoner/Welfare Officers.
I am a Freemason who would like to apply, but I don’t want members of my Lodge to know. Is this possible?
The Almoner of your Lodge will normally be the one to visit you and complete your financial details on the form. However, other members of your Lodge need not be aware of the confidential details, although they ought to be informed that appropriate steps have been taken to assist you. if you wish to apply to the Grand Charity, but do not want any member of your Lodge to know your personal details, then you should contact the Welfare Office or Provincial Grand Almoner to discuss the matter.
I disagree with the decision taken. Can I appeal?
No, but a further application can be made if the applicant’s financial circumstances have changed.
Can the application form be submitted electronically?
No, we do not accept online or email applications.
How does the Committee reach its decisions?
The Committee reviews cases in accordance with guidelines it adopts each year in April. These are not rigid rules and every case is treated on merit.
What is the deadline for submitting an application?
There is no deadline for submitting an application, but please be aware that a result can take up to eight weeks.

Government Benefits Queries

What is a Notice of Assessment?
In all cases where the applicant is in receipt of state means tested benefit (e.g. Pension Credit, Income Support, Working Tax Credit) a Notice of Assessment showing how the applicant’s income is made up must accompany the application form.
The following table gives details of the documentation required and how to obtain a copy.

Benefit Notice of Assessment How to obtain a copy
Pension Credit (Savings Credit and/or Guarantee Credit) Pension Credit Award Notice (M1000) Telephone the Pension Centre: 0845 606 0265
Working Tax Credit Tax Credit Award Notice Contact the local Tax Credit Office
Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance Letter from Job Centre Plus showing a breakdown of payments Contact the local Job Centre Plus

Where can I get advice and information on benefits and other issues?
Follow the followiing link to access a list of recommended websites full of useful information: CLICK HERE