More funds available for some TBF benefits

A message from the Transport Benevolent Fund (TBF) concerning changes it is making to ease the need and hardship in these challenging times

The Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, has been providing help and support to those working in the public transport industry for 97 years. The Fund currently has more than 67,000 members and their needs are very different from those back in 1923.

John Sheehy, TBF CEO, said: “Even before we were all dealing with the devastating effect of COVID-19 it is a sad fact that in modern Britain there are cases of need, hardship, and distress amongst those working within the industry. This is best illustrated by the fact that, during the past 12 months, the Fund has paid more than £2.8 million in awards to its members.”

Changes to benefits

There is no doubt that in the current challenging times there are going to be even more instances of need, hardship and distress among those working in the industry. In an effort to try and ease this need, the TBF Trustees have suggested an increase in the amount of benefit payable for the wide range of complementary and alternative therapies available to Fund members.

John continued: “Later in the year, each TBF member, their partner, and dependent children will have access to two different types of therapies in a rolling 12 month period, as is the case now, but the amount for each will be raised to £300. Of course, the ability to access these therapies will be dependant on social distancing guidelines at the time.

“The Trustees have also had to make the very difficult decision of no longer offering massage as a benefit. Sometime ago, office-based staff discovered a series of attempted fraudulent claims for massage; these are not always easy to detect. This has created a hugely increased workload as members of the claims staff have to double-check the validity of every single request and this situation is no longer workable.

“Our principal concern is to ensure that beneficiaries who are off sick and experiencing hardship, receive their grants on time. Therefore, as from 1 September 2020, massage will no longer be offered as a benefit, although members with a massage benefit claim already open at that date will continue to receive reimbursement until the full £250 allowance is exhausted.”

Reallocation of budget

“We will, of course, continue to offer chiropractic and osteopathy treatments and physiotherapy, so members will have other options for treatment if the need should arise. The budget allocated for the massage benefit will now be redistributed within the sickness hardship grant budget and other therapy treatments,” John explained.

Keeping the wheels turning

Many TBF members have been working through the current crisis, helping to keep the wheels of the public transport industry turning in order to support the country’s key workers during these difficult times.

John said: “The TBF team works tirelessly to help members and their dependants who find themselves in situations of genuine need, and help to improve members’ work-life balance and reduce staff turnover for the employer.”

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