Who are we?
The Benefit Funds Committee (BFC) consists of five elected representatives, one for each of five electoral divisions, together with the General Secretary and the General Treasurer. The purpose of the Committee is to give help and advice to INTO members who fall into financial difficulty and to manage the Benevolent Fund and the Illness and Mortality Fund. The Benefit Funds Committee (BFC) is seen as the Big Friendly Committee.
|Division||BFC Representative||Districts / Counties Served
|Paddy McAllister||Districts 1, 2 and 5 – Antrim / Armagh / Cavan / Derry / Down / Fermanagh / Louth / Monaghan / Tyrone|
|Tara O’Sullivan||Districts 7, 9, 14 and 15 – North county and city of Dublin, and parts of Dublin south and west / Kildare / Longford / Meath / Offaly / Westmeath|
|Deirdre Lanigan||Districts 8, 10 and 11 – Part of south Dublin / Carlow / Clare / Kilkenny / Laois / Tipperary / Waterford / Wexford / Wicklow|
|Bernard Dalton||Districts 12, 13 and 16 – Cork / Kerry / Limerick|
|Jerry Clifford||Districts 3, 4 and 6 – Donegal / Galway / Leitrim / Mayo / Roscommon / Sligo|
What do we do?
- Meet members to establish if help can be given or just to give advice
- Meet on a regular basis to discuss cases
- Attend joint CEC/BFC meetings that give authority for the INTO to spend money on legal cases
- Sign off Death Grants and Christmas Grants
How do we work?
Hardship cases and advice
The BFC member is contacted by member. The BFC member arranges to meet the member to discuss the issue and complete paperwork The case is then discussed confidentiality within the committee. A consensus is reached after discussion. The outcome may be favourable or unfavourable. On occasions the Rep is asked to go and seek more information so that the Committee can have a clear view of the difficulty and the commitment that the Committee may be taking on.
The BFC Rep will usually then contacts the member to pass on the decision. A letter often follows from Head Office to the member.
The BFC oversees death grants for INTO members and their spouses. A €5,000 grant is available to help with funeral costs in the event of a member’s death. A €3,000 grant is payable in the event of the death of a member’s spouse or civil partner. To claim the grant a form is requested from and returned to the BFC Rep for authorisation.
Attendance at meetings
BFC attend District meetings but only attend Branch at the Branch Request. Division I Rep is also member of NC.
What financial help can be given?
- A small emergency grant (if specific conditions are met).
- One off grant to help resolve a situation
- Long term grants on occasions that are reviewed regularly
- A grant that will be paid back when maybe a lump sum comes through (Ill health)
Is there a stereotypical member who needs help?
Each case is individual and it is important to stress that but in a broad way there could be 2 stereotypes:
- Members who fall into ill health and financial difficulties follow
- Members who get into debt by a partner who leaves a financial mess before a breakup
A teacher who had to leave home because the home couldn’t be heated. A grant for oil was given.
A teacher who had retired due to mental health issues and was officially homeless was given a small grant to cover something that needed paid for.
A grant was given to a member who was about to lose the house due to a marital breakup. The member’s partner was refusing to co-operate to resolve financial difficulties.
A recurring grant was given to a teacher for a limited period while the teacher got their finances sorted after a breakup with child care the main issue.
A terminally ill member was given a grant to make up shortfall in salary for a couple of months.
How can INTO members help?
- Ask the Branch Secretary to action a death grant if they hear a member has died.
- Get members in need to give me a ring to discuss the issue. If they don’t ask they won’t get and the worst thing that can happen is that the BFC will say no. The result won’t be passed onto the NC Rep by the BFC though the member may share it with the NC Rep.
How to contact the BFC?
If you have a query or need additional information, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can contact your local BFC representative, details can be found in your INTO member diary.