The MS Society has three grant funds available to people with MS, and their carers, living in the UK. These can help towards a wide range of equipment, adaptations, short breaks and support for carers and families. You don’t have to be a member of the MS Society to apply.
We are currently experiencing a high volume of applications, especially for the Short Breaks and Activities fund. The turnaround for applications to be processed is around two months or more, depending on how complicated your application is. To make sure your application is processed on time, please send us all the information we ask for.
Please do not book any short breaks before sending your application to us.
2016 applications - closing date
The 2016 Grants programme is closing on 30 November. If you would like to apply for a grant, please make sure we receive your application by this date and that you include all supporting documentation. We will be unable to process applications with any missing information.
If you are applying for a Short Breaks and Activities grant for a trip that you wish to take in January or February 2017, we recommend that you apply now as these applications can take up to 12 weeks to process.
We will be accepting new applications at the start of January 2017 with a new application form. Please check the website again then for the updated application form and guidance notes.
You’ll need to fill out an application form and give us some information to help with your request. You can download the forms on this page, and either print them out to post back or fill them in on your computer and email them to us. We also ask people to fill in our equality monitoring form. You don’t have to fill this form in and this won’t make any difference to the decision about whether you get a grant. But this form lets us see if our grants are reaching out widely across the MS community.
Our local branches can consider applications for Individual Support Grants from their own funding. If there is a branch in your area, we’ll send your application on to them to consider first. If they can’t help, or can’t cover the whole cost, they’ll ask the grants team to consider a top up.
We can’t promise that you will be given a grant or that it will be for the whole amount you’ve asked for. If we can’t help with the full amount, we can help you to find and apply for other money.
Please allow at least 8 weeks for us to make a decision about your application. If you don’t include all the information we need, it will take longer than this.
All details will be held in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will only be used to consider your application for funding.
A retrospective request means asking for help after you’ve already placed an order, made a booking or paid money, including deposits. We can’t help with these requests. If you are being asked to do any of these things but want to apply for a grant, please contact the grants team first who will be able to give further guidance.
You’ll need to check whether statutory funding is available before you apply for an MS Society grant. This is money from the NHS or your local authority, for home adaptations, items of equipment or respite care (a break for the person with MS or the person caring for them). If money is available for some of the cost then the MS Society may be able to help towards the total cost of the item.
This gives grants to people with MS to pay for things they need as a result of their MS. If you have more than £16,000 in accessible household savings, we can’t offer you a grant. This includes things like money in the bank and savings accounts, and includes your partner’s savings if you have a partner. This doesn’t include money you’d get if you sold something (like a house or car). If you have more than £8,000 in savings, we’ll ask you to pay something towards the cost of the request.
We can’t help with:
- requests involving long-term financial commitments, for example, grants for residential care or insurance
- requests for help with daily living costs, such as household bills
- requests for help with debt, legal fees or insurance payments, except for Bankruptcy or Debt Relief Order fees
- another request if you‘ve had help from this fund within the last two years
You’ll need to send the following information with your application form:
- a letter of support from a health or social care professional, that says you need the item and that it is right for you
- a letter from a health professional that says you’ve been diagnosed with MS (this may be included in the letter of support)
- two quotes for the item, or other details of the cost
- confirmation of your income support, income-related ESA, income-related JSA or guarantee pension credit, if you get any of these. An example would be a copy of your letter from the Department for Work and Pensions saying you get this benefit
Information we need in your letter of support
- Adaptations to your home - a letter from your occupational therapist that says what adaptations you need. The letter should also say whether you qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant or Home Adaptations Grant or not (these are grants from the local authority). If you don’t have an occupational therapist, contact your local authority’s social services team and ask for an occupational therapy assessment.
- Wheelchairs - a letter from an occupational therapist or from the Wheelchair Service, that says what wheelchair you need. They also need to say whether you qualify for any money from the Wheelchair Service and if so, how much
- Mobility scooters – a letter from an occupational therapist, or other suitably qualified professional, that says you need a scooter and that the type you’re asking for is right for you
- Riser-recliner chairs and profiling beds – a letter from an occupational therapist, or other suitably qualified professional such as a district nurse, that says what chair or bed you need. They also need to say whether any money is available from the NHS or social services
- Adaptations to your car and Motability advance payments - a letter from an occupational therapist, or other suitably qualified professional, saying what vehicle or adaptations you need. They also need to say whether you can get any money from Motability and if so, how much
- Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Order fees – a letter from a debt advice worker, saying that they’ve given you debt advice and they recommend bankruptcy or a debt relief order, and saying what this will cost
- Exercise equipment – a letter from an physiotherapist, saying what equipment you need, and whether you can get any health funding for it
- Other items (eg furnishings, flooring and domestic appliances, costs of moving house, computers, driving lessons) – a letter from a health or social care professional (such as an MS nurse, GP, social worker or occupational therapist), saying that you need the item
This gives grants that pay for short breaks for people with MS or family members or friends who are caring for them. If you have more than £23,000 in accessible household savings, we can’t offer you a grant. This includes things like money in the bank and savings accounts, and your partner’s savings if you have a partner. It doesn’t include money you’d get if you sold something (like a house or car). If you have more than £10,000 in savings, we’ll ask you to pay something towards the cost of the break.
We can’t help with:
- requests involving long-term financial commitments.
- another request if you’ve had help from this fund within the last 12 months. We may consider a request for more than one break within a single application, for example where respite is to be spread over a year. This depends on your circumstances.
We can help with:
- planned and emergency respite care, where it is not replacing statutory funding.
- a short break, activity or series of activities for someone with MS.
- a short break, activity or series of activities for a family member or friend who is supporting or caring for someone with MS.
- paying to employ a carer or personal assistant to help someone with MS (or a family member or friend who is supporting or caring for them) to have a break, either in their home or elsewhere.
- travel and accommodation costs linked to an activity, experience or short break.
- hiring disability equipment for someone with MS who’s taking a break.
- some complementary therapy taster sessions where they’re part of a break.
You’ll need to send the following information with your application form:
- a letter of support from a health or social care professional, for example, an MS nurse, occupational therapist or social worker. They will need to say you’ve been diagnosed with MS, that you need the break or activity because of your MS, and give details of any care and support needs that we should take into account. The letter should say whether there‘s any money from statutory authorities, particularly with respite care.
- a quote for the cost of the break or activity. If you’re applying for different parts of a break (for example travel, accommodation, travel insurance), we’ll need quotes for each of these. The quotes can be pages from a travel brochure, pages printed from websites or a travel agent’s letter, but they must show the total cost of the break you’re asking for.
- a copy of a recent bank statement.
- confirmation of your income support, income-related ESA, income-related JSA or guarantee pension credit, if you get any of these. An example would be a copy of your letter from the Department for Work and Pensions saying you get this benefit.
This gives grants to unpaid carers of all ages for a broad range of items and things they can do for leisure or personal development (eg, getting new knowledge or skills). If you get Carers Allowance we don’t count that as being paid. We can’t consider grants for adult carers (aged 25 and over) with over £23,000 in accessible household savings. This includes things like money in the bank and savings accounts, and includes your partner’s savings if you have a partner. This doesn’t include money you’d get if you sold something (like a house or car).
Please download the application form for more information about the type of things we can help with, how often you can apply, and the information we need.
If you would like more information about grants from the MS Society or to find the contact details for your local branch, please contact the grants team on 0300 500 8084 or email email@example.com.
To find out more about grants from the MS Society, contact your local branch or the grants team on 0300 500 8084 or email firstname.lastname@example.org