Office Hours 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday    |    Contact: 028 90 279 100    |    enquiries@vssni.org

Frequently Asked Questions

The frequently asked questions section of our website is updated regularly to help keep victims and survivors informed and provide access to the latest information.

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How do I contact the VSS?

Individual Needs Programme (INP) 2021/22

I have not received my INP 2021/22 Payment – what should I do?

I provided an e-mail address but I have not received an e-mail – what should I do?

I provided my BACS details but I haven’t received a payment – what should I do?

I provided my BACS details but I received a cheque in the post – what should I do?

I am a VSS registered Carer but I have not received a payment.

How can I submit my Self Declaration Form?

Have your circumstances changed? Are you no longer providing care to a VSS registered client?

I have received a cheque for a family member who was registered with VSS. However, my family member has passed away. What do I do?

I submitted an application for a Bereaved Payment but have not heard anything?

When will I receive my award for Home Heating this year?

I am struggling financially – is there any help I can get from VSS?

How can I apply for the Troubles/Victims Payment Scheme?

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If you cannot find the information that you are looking for below or on our website, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our team is ready to assist you in whatever way we can.

How do I contact the VSS?

As Covid 19 restrictions continue to ease, VSS will open our Belfast office on an appointment only basis from 24th May 2021 with a restricted number of staff in attendance.

Please note that this must initially be on a strict appointment basis only.  This is to ensure compliance with social distancing measures to keep both victims and survivors and staff safe.

We have undertaken all of the necessary risk assessments and we have all protocols in place to offer a safe environment.  We are delighted that we are now in a position to once again support victims and survivors on a face to face basis.

Those individuals who wish to make an appointment can do so in the following ways:

Telephone: 02890 279 100 – We are available to answer calls during the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

E-mail: enquiries@vssni.org – This e-mail address can be used to contact us and share documents electronically. It is monitored remotely and you will receive a response within 1 working day, if required.

By using our Online Webchat facility – From this website homepage, click on the speech bubble icon on the bottom right hand corner of this page. You will be able to chat directly with a member of our dedicated Health and Wellbeing team.

You can continue to contact us also By post – we encourage you to submit any necessary paperwork by post to the following address:

Victims and Survivors Service,
1st Floor Seatem House
28-32 Alfred Street
Belfast
BT2 8EN

Outreach Office:
1 Ballygawley Road
Dungannon
BT70 1TU

We appreciate your patience as we continue to work through this challenging time. Our first priority is, and will remain, to continue to support victims and survivors and their families.

If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, please call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.  Lifeline is available 24-7.  Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.

Individual Needs Programme (INP) 2021/22

At the beginning of 2021, clients who normally receive Self Directed Assistance Payments by cash were given the option to receive payment via BACS. This means payment will be issued directly to your bank account (or the account you authorise the payment to go to). Clients who provided their bank details now receive payment directly into this bank account on the day of issue. There is no delay with post or lodging cheques.

If you received this year’s payment by cheque but would prefer to receive future payments by BAC’s, please contact us by telephone/email/webchat and a member of the Health & Wellbeing team will be happy to assist.

I have not received my INP 2021/22 Payment – what should I do?

INP 2021/22 launched on 12 April 2021 and payments were issued either by online payment (BACS) or by cheque. You should also receive an email or letter confirming your 2021/22 payment

BACS Payments
If you provided bank details to us before 31 March 2021, you should receive a BACS payment directly into your bank account by the 12th April 2021 or 16th April 2021 for Carers. Accompanying this, you should also receive a remittance letter informing you that your payment has been made.

E-mail address
If you also provided us with an e-mail address or VSS already held an e-mail address for you, this letter was sent electronically to you on the same date.

If we don’t hold an e-mail address for you, you should receive your letter and/or payment in the post.

Cheque Payments
If you have not provided VSS with bank account details, or provided them after 31st March 2021, you should receive a cheque in the post. This will also be accompanied with your award letter.

There may be delays to postal services in some areas, so we would encourage you to wait a couple of days to see if your letter/payment arrives before contacting VSS.

I provided an e-mail address but I have not received an e-mail – what should I do?

You should by now have received an e-mail, but you may wish to check your junk mail in case it was automatically directed there.

A number of e-mails failed to deliver and rebounded to VSS. This means that the e-mail address provided is not working or that one of the characters in the address is missing/incorrect. You should still have received a payment into your bank account, however. A staff member will either contact you to confirm your e-mail address or we may consider issuing a letter to you by post confirming that a payment has been issued to you.

I provided my BACS details but I haven’t received a payment – what should I do?

If you provided the correct details to VSS before the 31st March 2021, you should have received your payment by now.

However, a number of BACS payments were disallowed by the Bank. This might mean that one digit was incorrect. In such cases, the payment should be automatically returned to VSS. Please contact us to let us know if you have not yet received the VSS payment into your bank account. If the payment has been returned to VSS, we can re-issue a payment using the updated BACS details.

I provided my BACS details but I received a cheque in the post – what should I do?

There were a number of bank details received that were either invalid or arrived too late for this year’s payment. If you have received a cheque you have two options:

  1. If you would prefer the cheque to be cancelled and reissued via BACS, then you should contact VSS by phone (02890 279100) or by e-mail – enquiries@vssni.org and one of the team will assist you. This may take 15-20 working days to process.
  2. Cash the cheque, and provide VSS with your bank details so future payments can be made via BACS. To do this, you should also contact VSS on either of the above channels.

I am a VSS registered Carer but I have not received a payment.

Carer’s Self Directed Assistance Payments were issued by post or electronically for arrival on Friday 16th April 2021.

If you continue to provide caring responsibilities but have not received your payment, please contact VSS and a member of the team will be able to assist you.

Information for VSS registered Carers
Some Carers have been required to return a 2021/22 Self Declaration Form in advance. If you have done this you are not required to do anything once you receive your payment.

Carers who receive a Self Declaration Form enclosed with a payment are required to sign this form and return to VSS.

How can I submit my Self Declaration Form?

Forms can be submitted in the following ways;

Post – Please return to VSS using the self-addressed envelope provided

Email – We can now accept a photograph of your signed Self Declaration Form which can then be emailed to enquiries@vssni.org

VSP Org – If you are a member of one of the community / voluntary organisations funded by VSS, they will be happy to forward your Self Declaration to VSS on your behalf.

Have your circumstances changed? Are you no longer providing care to a VSS registered client?

Please let us know as soon as possible. You can contact us by telephone/email/webchat. Our health and wellbeing team will be happy to assist.

I have received a cheque for a family member who was registered with VSS. However, my family member has passed away. What do I do?

Please contact us by telephone/email/webchat as soon as possible and a member of the Health & Wellbeing team will be happy to assist. If you are aware that a member of your family was registered with VSS and in receipt of support but they have passed away, we would be most grateful if you would contact us to let us know. You can do this by telephone or email and a member of the Health & Wellbeing team will assist you.

I submitted an application for a Bereaved Payment but have not heard anything?

The Bereaved Self Directed Assistance Payment reopened for applications in March 2021. A large volume of applications have been received and we are currently processing these. We will be in contact with all applicants in the coming weeks.

When will I receive my award for Home Heating this year?

The Persistent Pain – Home Heating scheme for 2021/22 is now open. The scheme has now changed for 2021/22. Individuals are no longer required to submit receipts for Home Heating ahead of receiving a payment, instead a £500 cash payment will be made to existing award recipients as a contribution towards their home heating costs.

The timing of this payment is subject to VSS having received receipts up to the value of £500 from existing award recipients for the financial year 2020/21. Payments to individuals who have submitted receipts to a value of £500 for 2020/21 will be paid on 10 June 2021.

Any individual who has receipts outstanding for the 2020/21 financial year (1st April 2020 – 31st March 2021) will be contacted by letter to request receipts for home heating for this period. When VSS has received the receipts for 2020/21 to a value of £500, we can then release the 2021/22 payment. If any individual needs assistance with this, they should contact VSS and we will do all we can to help.

This scheme is closed to new entrants.

I am struggling financially – is there any help I can get from VSS?

Yes, some of VSS’ funded community & voluntary organisations are able to provide welfare support to victims and survivors. They will be able to outline the support that is available and how you can access this. Organisations that provide Welfare Support are: Wave Trauma Centre, Relatives for Justice (RfJ), South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), The Ely Centre and CALMS (Community Action for Locally Managing Stress).

You can find more information on these organisations and in your area using our interactive map.

How can I apply for the Troubles/Victims Payment Scheme?

The Troubles (Permanent Disablement) Payment Scheme is scheduled to open for applications on 31 August 2021 at 12 noon. Further information and guidance on the application process will be published closer to the time on the Victims Payment Board website. Anyone wishing to register an interest in the scheme can do so by emailing vpsqueries@justice-ni.gov.uk

VSS will not be administering the Scheme, and will not be directly involved in determining individual eligibility.

However, VSS are here to support you and we are currently working to ensure that advice and support is available to all victims and survivors through our community based funded organisations.

We will provide more detailed information as it becomes available.

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