empowering the severely brain injured and their families via support, understanding and a network of care

What We Do

There’s no doubt about it, when someone suffers a severe brain injury it has a devastating effect on their family and friends. Without warning your whole life becomes a nightmare world of pain and fear as you worry about what the future will hold and how you will cope with it. At the same time you have to get to grips with complex medical jargon and fight your way through what seems to be never ending bureaucracy.

At Brain Injury is BIG we understand this, because we’ve been through it. Although we can never make the problem go away, we know what a difference the right support can make in helping you to deal with it. And there are a number of ways we can do this.

Telephone Support – available from 9.00 am – 9.00 pm if you want some advice or just someone to listen and care. 01483 770999

Online Forum – A place where you can share your story with others in similar situations, or give and get advice and support.

Support Clinics – Where possible we can hold clinics at hospitals and long term care facilities to talk over the issues that we’ve all faced.

Social Events – There’s nothing quite like getting to know other people in the same situation over coffee or lunch or a glass of wine. The emotional support it offers is invaluable for helping you to understand that you are not alone in this.

Financial Support – We offer a grant system for individuals to help with travel costs, equipment, therapies etc.

Grant from Us

Introduction

The impact of a brain injury can hit us both emotionally and financially. Brain Injury is BIG is pleased to offer a grant scheme to assist with providing equipment or therapies, such as physiotherapy and speech and language for severely brain injured individuals in hospital, rehabilitation, or long- term care, or financial help with transport or accommodation costs.

Please be aware that funds are limited, so the grant is only available to applicants:

1) living in the United Kingdom and
2) in those cases where the funding required is not met by other sources of public or private funding.

How much is available?

We run 2 grant schemes:

1. For Individuals – grants of up to £500 to cover the cost of specialist equipment, therapies and assessments and emergency accommodation/travel costs that are not otherwise available by public funding;

2. For residential care homes that ordinarily care for severely brain injured people – grants of up to £5,000 to cover the cost of specialist equipment that would not otherwise ordinarily be provided by care homes specialising in the care for brain injured residents.

Criteria for Applications

“Severely brain injured”

In order to qualify for a grant, the beneficiary (or the majority of residents within a care home application) must have suffered from and continue to suffer from a severe brain injury – that is a traumatic brain injury (through an accident) or acquired brain injury (through illness or disease) that results in significant and ongoing cognitive and/or executive functioning so that the applicant (or majority of residents in the care home) by reason of his/her brain injury:

(i) Remains in a hospital or other residential facility; and the funding of that treatment is met by the NHS as Continuing Care; or

(ii) Remains in a residential care home and the funding of that care is met (in whole or in part) by the NHS and/or a Local Authority of the United Kingdom; or

(iii) Lives at home and is supported by a care package that is funded (in whole or in part) by the NHS and/or a Local Authority of the United Kingdom; or

(iv) Is currently in receipt of higher rates (for care and/or mobility) of Disability Living Allowance; Personal Independence Payments or Attendance Allowance;

(v) Otherwise, at the absolute discretion of the trustees of Brain Injury is BIG, meets the definition of severe brain injury.

Exclusions from the Scheme

While applications for a grant are not means-tested, we have to ensure that we support the most needy of applicants.

We appreciate that, given you are seeking financial support from us, your circumstances are already difficult, but there are a number of paths you should pursue before applying for a grant from Brain Injury Is BIG. We can offer help and advice in this respect.

Individuals will need to demonstrate that prior to making an application, they have explored all other reasonable options. For this reason, we have to impose the following exclusions/conditions for individual applicants:

(i) For equipment requests – evidence that the applicant has applied for and been refused Local Authority Community Equipment (please see our guide to State Benefits);

(ii) For minor adaptations to the home -evidence that the applicant has applied for and been refused Local Authority Minor Adaptations (please see our guide to State Benefits).

(iii) For significant applications to the home – evidence that the applicant has applied for and been refused a Local Authority Disabled Facilities Grant (please see our guide to State Benefits).

(iv) For applicants claiming financial hardship (and they cannot work in paid employment by reason of their brain injury) – evidence that they:

• Have considered a legal claim in the case of an accident caused by someone else’s fault (please see our guide to compensation claims and choosing a specialist solicitor) and that there is no legitimate claim; and

• Have made a claim (or been professionally advised there is no claim) for Employment Support Allowance (or such other State Benefits they are entitled to claim); and

• By way of signed statement in the application form that, they have no entitlement to any policy of insurance for critical illness, accident or permanent health cover.

For applications made by residential care homes, it is important to understand that the purpose of the grant scheme is not to financially support and increase the profitability of commercial enterprises by relieving them from the financial burden they would otherwise have. We will only support grant applications where a care home can demonstrate:

(a) The equipment sought will be for the benefit of a number of residents; and
(b) The equipment sought is outside the scope of equipment or expense that would ordinarily be incurred by care homes for brain injured people. (This is an objective not subjective test – based on care homes for severely brain injured residents generally and not just the care home applying).

Evidence of Expenditure

As a registered charity, we are subject to rigorous duties and standards imposed by the Charity Commission. Consequently, we have to have procedures in place that ensure that grants are made for the purpose sought. We will therefore require documentary evidence by way of receipts, purchase orders, pro forma invoices or such other documentation that we may reasonably require to verify the purchase of equipment or services. We may require this before and/or after the purchase made. This may require you giving permission for release of information about you.

Recoupment of Grants

We treat fraud very seriously. Applications which are wilfully or recklessly dishonest will be referred to the appropriate authorities and we reserve the right to pursue such applicants for return of any grant made together with the reasonable costs of pursuing that recovery.

All applications will be considered by the trustees of Brain Injury is BIG who have absolute discretion and whose decision shall be final.