Millions of families may be eligible for extra help with the cost of living increases.
There is currently free help available including supermarket vouchers and money toward paying your bills. The support is issued through the Household Support Fund, reported The Mirror.
The scheme was initially worth £500million but has since been boosted to £1.5billion in total. The funding has been given to councils from the Government to help struggling households during the cost of living crisis.
READ MORE: Households can expect to receive £650 Cost of Living Payment within weeks
The scheme will run up until the end of September 2022. However, the support available is decided by each individual council – as well as the eligibility criteria. This means each local authority decides who to give the money to, and how the money should be spent – so many households face a postcode lottery in terms of what help is given.
If you’re really struggling, it is worth speaking to your council about the Household Support Fund. Here’s how it works.
How to apply for the Household Support Fund
To access the Household Support Fund, you need to contact your council. Most local authorities have a dedicated webpage where you can find all the information about how it is running their Household Support Fund.
This should say who is eligible, what support they can give, and how you apply. Most of the time, you will need to be on a low income, claim certain benefits or be over state pension age to receive any help.
But to give you an idea of what you could claim, we’ve rounded up support that has previously been confirmed by some councils. Cornwall Council has given one-off payments worth £100 to pensioners identified as having low incomes. Families with children who are eligible for free school meals also received a one-off payment of £80.
Residents in Barnsley have previously been offered £200 in vouchers to spend at supermarkets and shops including Aldi, Asda, Argos and Currys. Medway Council says online that it can help with supermarket, fuel and other household vouchers worth £50 for single people.
This rises to £210 for a household with six or more people. Derby Council residents can get up to £120 in supermarket vouchers.
Each council is allocated a set amount of money through the Household Support Fund – this means you should apply sooner rather than later, before it runs out of cash.
Other help recently announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak includes a £400 discount on energy bills for every home, and a £650 one-off payment for people who claim benefits. In the autumn, pensioner households will get £300 one-off payment and disabled people will get a £150 payment.
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