Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by Those Applying for Financial Support

How do I know if I am eligible for financial support?

Our rules allow us to help people who have worked in market research and their dependents.  We would normally expect to see a commitment to the industry in terms of a minimum length of time recently spent working in it.  For a full time worker this would normally be two years and may vary depending on the full or part time working status of the applicant.  Although we will need to verify every applicant’s eligibility, the MRBA tries to help as many people as we can.  You can be assured that your application:

  1. Will be treated in total confidence
  2. Your identity and personal circumstances will never be revealed to anyone outside the small number of dedicated MRBA advisors and managers.

Current or previous membership in the MRS or MRBA is not a requirement.    To receive a copy of our application form please ring Danielle Scott on 0845 652 0303 or email us.

Who do you consider immediate family?

The immediate family of the applicant who has worked or is working in market research consists of:

  • Spouse
  • Children (up to 18 years of age)

How long do I need to have worked in market research to be eligible?

We would normally expect to see a commitment to the industry in terms of a minimum length of time recently spent working in it.  For a full time worker this would normally be two years, and may vary depending on the full or part time working status of the applicant.

I’m not a member of the MRS, am I still eligible for apply?

Previous or current membership in the MRS is not required.

I don’t feel able to go through a lengthy application process.

Your Regional Manager (a volunteer who has worked in market research and lives in your area), is available to meet with you and help you complete the application form and explain the application process, what happens next and how long everything will take.

I’m feeling really embarrassed about my particular situation.  How do I know it will remain confidential?

Except for your Regional Manager and the National Cases Manager and secretary, who need to process the application, members of the MRBA Committee do not know who our applicants are.

No names are used.  You can be assured that your personal circumstances are treated in total confidence and no one need know you approached the MRBA for help.

How complicated is the application form?

For legal reasons and to protect our charitable status, the MRBA application form is quite detailed but not over-complicated. Your Regional Manager will work with you to complete the form and provide the necessary background information about your specific circumstances to the MRBA Committee so it can make an more informed decision about whether it can support your application and how. For a copy of the application form, please ring 0845 652 0303 or email Danielle Scott.

Who are the MRBA Regional Managers and why do I need one?  Can’t everything be done over the telephone or the internet?

To meet the increasing number of requests and needs from applicants across the country, there is a network of Regional Managers.  Currently we have Regional Managers covering London and South England; Gloucestershire and South Wales; York and the Midlands; the South West and Wales; Scotland and the Northwest.

Experienced and well-informed, these compassionate volunteers work tirelessly to meet and understand an applicant’s unique circumstances.

In most cases Your Regional Manger will set up an appointment with you to discuss your circumstances face to face.  Most applicants feel reassured when they meet their Regional Manager knowing there is someone they can just talk to and explain their situation to.  A Regional Manager is there to help you complete the application form, explain the application process and provide background information on each case to the MRBA Committee.  Working in conjunction with the most appropriate private, public and voluntary agencies in their local communities, they will develop an assistance programme that meets your individual needs.  Regional Managers often keep in touch with applicants to find out how they are doing.

What happens after I’ve filled in the application form?

Your form will be reviewed by your Regional Manager.  He or she will write up a report based on any meetings or telephone conversations with you and that report with your form will be presented to the MRBA Committee which meets in London every six weeks.

How long will it take before I hear whether my application has been accepted or not?

The MRBA Committee Members meet approximately every 6 weeks.  If your case is urgent and needs immediate attention, your application can be fast tracked and a decision can be made more quickly.

Your Regional Manager will tell you when the next MRBA Committee Meeting will take place. After the Meeting, your Regional Manager will be told the outcome and he or she will be in touch with you, usually by telephone, to explain the result.  If money is being given or loaned, it will be explained how and when this financial support will be forthcoming.  Funds are usually made available within days rather than weeks.

If my application is unsuccessful is there an appeals process?

The MRBA Committee tries to be as generous as possible.  But as you can appreciate we do not have unlimited funds and so we are unable to help every single person who approaches us.  Your Regional Manager will explain the MRBA Committee’s decision and perhaps recommend other agencies or volunteer organisations that might be able to help.