Thousands of households can get £60 to help towards the cost of food this January – see if you're eligible | The Sun
THOUSANDS of hard-up households will get £60 free supermarket vouchers this winter.
The cash vouchers are provided through the Household Support Fund worth £421million.
And fresh funding for the scheme is available to local authorities until March next year.
The scheme was first established last year, extended for the second time in the March budget and for a third time in November to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.
Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.
The vouchers or grants on offer vary by location so you'll have to check to see what you can get and how your council will pay you.
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You'll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help.
Thousands of residents in North Somerset are set to receive vouchers to help pay for their food shop.
And eligible households can get up to £60 in free supermarket vouchers this January depending on their circumstances.
What are councils offering and who is eligible?
Local authorities have had some autonomy on how they use the Fund to reach the vulnerable people in their communities.
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Eligibility requirements will vary depending on where you live – so check directly with your council if you could get the cash help.
For example, residents eligible for the scheme who live in the North Somerset Council catchment area could get £60 vouchers.
Around 4,800 households who receive free school meals, and care leavers, will be eligible for the help.
Schools will issue the vouchers automatically throughout January, so you don't need to apply.
Families will be paid a £60 food voucher per child.
This means if you have two school-age children living with you, you’ll receive £120.
You can apply for free school meals on the government's website if you think you might be eligible.
How do I apply for the Household Support Fund?
Some households will be notified that they can apply for the cash help and others will receive the cash automatically.
Again, your council will set out whether or not you need to apply.
It's worth checking out your local council's website to find out what help is available in your area.
You can find your local council by using this handy tool on the government's website.
A full list of what you'll need to help with your application is detailed by the council.
Is there other support available?
Millions are in line for up to £1,350 in free cash from spring – and the key payment dates have been revealed.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled the help – which will be paid directly into people's bank accounts – in last year's Autumn Statement.
It includes a new £900 cost of living payment for those on benefits, another £300 for pensioners and a third for those with disabilities at £150.
The help is aimed to help soften the blow of high energy bills, food costs and other necessities.
It's rare that households will qualify for all three payments but if you do, you'll get the full £1,350 on offer and you'll be automatically paid.
Pensioners have also started getting a £300 one-off payment.
The current pensioner cost of living payment is being handed out to millions on a low income.
You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the winter fuel payment, but this could change under the new rules.
The £300 cost of living payment is paid on top of the other winter support.
You'll need to be:
- born on or before 25 September 1956
- have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the "qualifying week"
Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who's eligible here.
There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
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Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Npower's energy fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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