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.
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?
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?
The health and welfare of victims and survivors, our staff and our community partners is our priority. We have therefore made changes to how we continue to provide support and services to you.
Both of our offices (Belfast and Dungannon) remain closed to the public. Please do not worry, we are here to help victims and survivors through this difficult time. Staff will continue to work remotely. Whilst the offices are closed, you can continue to contact VSS in the following ways:
Telephone: 02890 279 100 – please continue to call us on this number. We will be continuing to answer calls during the hours of 9am to 5pm. We may call you back outside of these hours.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – this e-mail address can be used to contact us. It will be 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.
We will continue to provide updates on the services and support available to you on the VSS website as soon as they become available.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to work through this challenging time.
However, 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
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.
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.
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:
- 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 – email@example.com and one of the team will assist you. This may take 15-20 working days to process.
- 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 are currently being finalised and should arrive by post or electronically by Friday 16th April 2021.
We would therefore encourage you to wait a couple of days to see if your letter/payment arrives before contacting VSS.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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?
We anticipate that this scheme will open on 1st May 2021. This scheme remains closed to new applicants.
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 not yet open for applications. VSS will not be administering the Scheme, and will not be directly involved in determining individual eligibility.
For further information and updates on this, please visit the Department of Justice website: www.justice-ni.gov.uk
However, VSS are here to support you and we are currently working to ensure support is available to all victims and survivors through our community based funded organisations. When the scheme opens, they will be able to assist you with your application and any other queries you may have.