THOUSANDS of households have just days left to apply for up to £650 in free cost of living support.
The cash is available through the Household Support Fund – but eligible households will need to be quick to secure it.
Hard-up households in Exeter can get up to £650 in free cash vouchers[/caption]
The scheme was first established last year and extended for a second time in the March budget to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.
But the Household Support Fund has been extended for a third time with a renewed £1billion fund.
Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.
And the vouchers or grants on offer vary by location and you’ll have to check to see how your council will pay you.
Eligibility requirements will also vary depending on where you live – so check directly with your council if you could get the cash help.
The third batch of the Household Support Fund runs up until March 2023 – however, councils have the power to set their own deadlines for divvying out the free cash.
And now thousands of families have just days left to apply for the cost of living cash.
For example, those living in Exeter have just days to confirm that they have received vouchers worth up to £650 in the post.
Households in Harrow originally had until January 31 to apply for up to £300 in support – however, the local council has pushed the deadline forward to February 28.
Exeter City Council
Exeter City Council is offering up to £650 in free money to almost 2,000 households.
And cash vouchers will be posted to all eligible households in the post by January 10.
These vouchers can be redeemed at your local Post Office branch.
Those receiving council tax support are eligible for the free cash support and those families that are made up of certain other criteria will get an extra boost.
This includes families that:
- Have disabled children
- Have Carers
- Are in work
- Have on-dependant deductions
Eligibility was determined based on the household position on December 14, 2022 – this was the entitlement date.
The council has said that if you believe you should be entitled and have not received a cash voucher by January 24 to get in touch by sending your details including name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I don’t live in Exter?
Your local council will likely have its own version of the scheme going and you should get in contact with them to find out more.
But be quick – while the deadline for councils to hand out the latest tranche of HSF cash support is March 31, 2023, it’s done on a first-come-first-serve basis.
For example, thousands of residents in Luton are due electronic vouchers to help pay for food and other household essentials.
And eligible households can get between £100 and £500 in free supermarket vouchers depending on their circumstances.
Thousands of residents in North Yorkshire are also due electronic supermarket vouchers worth up to £325.
What other support is available?
As part of the Autumn Statement, it was revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900.
Eight million households currently get cost-of-living payments worth up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.
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 Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
- British Gas Energy Trust
- EDF Customer Support Fund
- E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
- Octopus Energy Assist Fund
- OVO Energy
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment meter.