What is the Household Support Fund and how do I apply?

HARD-UP households claim support to help with the cost of living via the Household Support Fund.

The support is dished from a pot worth £421million by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Household Support Fund helps low-income Brits pay their way with free cash and vouchers

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The Household Support Fund helps low-income Brits pay their way with free cash and vouchersCredit: Getty

What you can get depends on where you live but the cash could be as a direct cash transfer or shopping vouchers.

Amounts vary and it is up to the local council as to how the money is distributed.

The fund is usually given out based on your financial circumstances and what benefits you receive.

It’s designed to help the most hard-up families struggling with the cost of living.

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But what is the Household Support Fund, and how do you apply for the help? Below we explain all you need to know.

What is the Household Support Fund?

The Household Support Fund (HSF) was first introduced in October 2021 and has been extended five times.

The latest round of funding is worth £421million to councils in England.

Councils up and down the country got a slice of the cash to dish out to struggling households.

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Who qualifies is a postcode lottery too, as each local authority can set its own eligibility criteria.

However, if you have a limited amount of money or savings in the bank, are classed as vulnerable or are on benefits, you will likely qualify for help.

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The HSF was recently extended in the Government’s Spring Budget until September and some councils have already opened for applications.

For example, Medway Council in Kent, South-East England, is offering thousands of households supermarket vouchers worth up to £225.

Some could qualify for electronic energy cards or e-vouchers to cover water bills worth £100 too.

You should get in touch with your local council to see if you might be eligible for help.

You can find what council area you fall under by using the Government’s council locator tool on its website.

The help you can get varies depending on who your local council is, as well as your personal situation.

But you may be able to get free cash and vouchers to help pay for things like heating your home or to cover costs of your weekly grocery shop.

If an applicant is already receiving benefits, these will not be affected by the HSF.

And, you do not need to be getting benefits to receive vouchers or funds from the HSF.

Check with your local council to find out what support is available and the eligibility criteria.

How do you apply?

To get the help, you’ll need to check with your council – as local authorities are in charge of distributing the funding.

To find your local council, use the gov.uk council finder tool.

Once you’ve found your council, there should be information on how to apply for the funding on its website.

Each council will have a different application process – so exact details on how to apply will vary depending on where you live.

That means that the eligibility requirements to access the fund could also vary – it’s best to check with your local council for more details.

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Some councils won’t require you to apply for the help and they’ll contact you about it instead if you qualify.

If there’s no information on your council’s website, then its best to ring them up and ask for more information.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing money-sm@news.co.uk.

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