Vetlife Financial Support

Throughout the course of our lives, many of us will experience financial difficulties. The causes are varied, but may include a health problem that leaves you unable to work, an accident, the breakdown of a relationship or the loss of a spouse. Vetlife Financial Support can provide grants to assist with primary living costs – food, shelter, utilities and basic transportation  – in situations where state benefits do not sufficiently safeguard a veterinary surgeon from poverty. Every individual’s circumstances are different so please get in touch with us to discuss your situation in confidence.

What sort of help is given?

  • Immediate emergency assistance
  • Regular monthly grants
  • One-off gifts
  • Professional advice on State benefit applications and debt management
  • CPD provision
  • Accommodation

Frequently Asked Questions

How and when should I apply for Financial Support?

We accept applications all year round. The Financial Support Application Form is available to download online. You can request for a copy to be sent to you via post by contacting the Vetlife office on 0207 908 6374 or via e-mail, [email protected].

How do I know I am eligible to apply?

Financial assistance is only available to veterinary surgeons who are on, or have previously been on, the RCVS register. Dependents of a deceased veterinary surgeon can also apply.

You must demonstrate a genuine shortfall between your income and expenditure and would have exhausted all other available options including claiming any applicable State benefits, selling assets and asking for help from family or friends.

Is there any help available for Vet Nurses?

Yes, the Daphne Shipman Fund offer grants which are available to BVNA members with the objective of supporting members, their spouses, relations or dependents who are in need, hardship or distress.

Do I need to provide anything with my application?

We ask for a minimum of 3 months’ bank statements and may request additional supporting documentation relevant to your application.

What kind of support can you provide?

We offer immediate emergency grants, one-off gifts and regular monthly grants. We can also arrange for you to receive professional debt or benefits advice, and arrange free CPD.

What if my circumstances change?

All grants are reviewed annually although you should notify the Financial Support team as soon as you are aware of any changes in your financial situation, or any other factors that may have a bearing on the financial assistance we provide. This is so that we can monitor the level of support we are providing and ensure that it is sufficient.

Do I need to have an interview for Financial Support?

No. If you are eligible for support, we will assign an Area Representative who will visit you to discuss your circumstances more in depth.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

If you do not agree with the outcome you can appeal the decision. We will advise you on why your application was not successful. If your situation changes significantly, then you can make a new application.

If I want to know more about Financial Support, what should I do?

Contact the Financial Support Team on 0207 908 6374 or via e-mail on [email protected]. Please note that we cannot advise whether your grant application will be successful over the phone as all applications must be considered by the Grant Awards Panel.

What is a special gift?

If you need help to meet unexpected expenses, we may be able to assist.  A gift could include payment of professional fees or subscriptions to allow you to return to work, or keep in touch with the profession, or help towards an essential repair at home.

We carefully consider the individual’s circumstances and needs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. Vetlife Financial Support does not provide grants to cover business debts or student loans, private education or healthcare, the repayment of personal loans, retraining courses or in cases where the applicant simply chooses to be unemployed or where State assistance or statutory services are available.

You will still need to complete the Financial Support Application form.

Can I apply for Financial Support even though I have previously received an award?

Yes. If you received an award which has now ended, and your financial circumstances have significantly changed then you can submit a new application.

Is Financial Support anonymous?

Yes. Your application will be seen by your Area Representative, The Honorary Secretary and two members of Financial Support staff. Your application is anonymised before going to the Grant Awards Panel. All data is held securely in an online workspace.