Household Support Fund 2024: how to apply as thousands of UK households receive direct payments up to £500

ūüĆü UK councils are helping households cope with rising costs through grants and vouchers
  • Thousands of households across the UK regions are set to benefit from government-funded support programs
  • The Household Support Fund (HSF) is administered by local councils to distribute payments, vouchers and grants to eligible residents
  • Eligible households may receive varying amounts of financial aid, with payments tailored to support families and individuals facing financial difficulties
  • Councils are urging eligible residents to apply promptly before specified deadlines to ensure receipt of financial assistance

Thousands of households are set to receive a £500 payment from the government's Household Support Fund (HSF) soon.

Local councils distribute these funds to eligible residents after receiving them from the government - the amount provided by each council can vary depending on the location.

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The fund is designed to assist with essential needs like food, clothing and utilities, offering support through vouchers and small grants during the cost-of-living crisis.

Here are the latest local HSF council schemes we have identified over the past week. For more information on finding similar schemes in your area, please see the bottom of this article.

(Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)(Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
(Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Doncaster

Thousands of residents in Doncaster may qualify for a £290 cash grant. Doncaster Council has allocated this funding to assist households in the city that receive any of the following benefits:

  • Housing benefit
  • Local council tax reduction
  • Means-tested free school meals
  • Universal Credit (including the housing element)

Payments will be distributed to eligible households according to the following structure:

  • Single individuals with no dependent children will receive a one-time payment of ¬£50
  • Couples with no dependent children will receive a single payment of ¬£70
  • Households with one dependent child will receive a total of ¬£110, distributed in two payments of ¬£55 each
  • Households with two dependent children will receive a total of ¬£170, distributed in two payments of ¬£85 each
  • Households with three dependent children will receive a total of ¬£230, distributed in two payments of ¬£115 each
  • Households with four or more dependent children will receive a total of ¬£290, distributed in two payments of ¬£145 each

A dependent child is defined as a child who receives child benefit. Residents who have previously received a payment under the council's scheme will receive their payments automatically.

Pensioners or working-age individuals who did not receive a payment under the previous Household Support Fund and meet the above criteria will need to complete an online application.

For more information, head to Doncaster Council’s website

Kirklees

Thousands of households in Kirklees, West Yorkshire are eligible to receive £300 payments aimed at assisting them amidst rising bills during the cost of living crisis. Kirklees Council anticipates over 15,000 individuals qualifying for this financial aid.

The council offers this support through both direct bank payments and vouchers to residents. It is also extending assistance to local food banks and community organisations.

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Applicants need to submit an application to receive the funding, and payments are processed upon verification of eligibility. Eligible recipients include those on low incomes or receiving benefits who require help with energy and food expenses.

Families receiving free school meals will automatically receive support during school holidays and do not need to apply.

For more information, head to Kirklees Council’s website

Newcastle

Newcastle City Council is providing food vouchers to households with children receiving free school meals during school holidays. It is also offering hardship payments amounting to £200 to households facing significant financial challenges.

Eligibility for this one-time payment, as stated on the council's website, requires you to be responsible for household expenses and experiencing a budget deficit where expenditures exceed income.

In addition, residents must have sought assistance from Newcastle City Council's Advice Compact partners. Meeting these criteria allows a member of the council's Advice Compact to make a referral to the fund on your behalf.

Applications cannot be submitted directly by individuals. A comprehensive list of the council's advice partners can be found on its website. Newcastle City Council has said that funding is "limited," meaning not everyone will be assured of receiving a payment.

For more information, head to Newcastle City Council’s website

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Council is distributing e-vouchers worth £140 to numerous households, which can be used at nine different retailers. These vouchers are allocated to households receiving a 100% council tax reduction.

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Eligible households began receiving letters in early July, containing instructions on how to claim the vouchers. Each letter from North Yorkshire Council includes a unique redemption code that must be entered on their website.

It's crucial to redeem this code by 5 August to ensure you receive the £140, as the vouchers will expire after this date. To claim the e-vouchers, individuals must have access to an email address.

For more information, head to North Yorkshire Council’s website

Peterborough

Thousands of households in Peterborough are now eligible to apply for free £50 food vouchers. Following an extension of the Household Support Fund (HSF), these vouchers are aimed at supporting families during the school summer holidays.

The vouchers, which will be electronically delivered via text and email on Saturday 20 July, are based on council-held data. To ensure activation, all vouchers must be activated by midnight on Sunday 11 August, or they will expire.

Eligible families with children and young people include those who receive:

  • Income-related Free School Meals (ages four to 16)
  • Early Years Pupil Premium under income-based criteria
  • Funded Childcare and Education for two-year-olds under income-based criteria

It's estimated that around 13,000 children and young people could benefit from this scheme in Peterborough, amounting to over £650,000 in distributed vouchers.

Residents are encouraged to verify their entitlement to free meals during term time, as this may qualify them for the holiday vouchers.

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For more information, head to Peterborough City Council’s website

Worcestershire

The HSF scheme is now accessible to residents of Worcestershire, facilitated by the council and administered by Act on Energy. Eligible applicants can receive assistance with electricity, gas, water, oil, LPG, and solid fuel costs.

Households with children under 18, or young adults up to 21 in full-time education, may qualify for up to £500. Adult residents aged 18 to 66 without children could receive up to £300 in support.

Additionally, single adults or couples of pensionable age may also receive £300 towards their bills.

The scheme also aids in applying for assistance with repairing, servicing or replacing heating systems, which includes boiler repairs, initial heating system installations, replacement of malfunctioning warm air systems, and related services.

This support is available to residents of Worcestershire residing in Malvern, Worcester, Wychavon, Bromsgrove, Redditch, or Wyre Forest.

Applicants must have a gross household income of £31,000 or less per year before tax, including non-means tested benefits, and must not have household savings exceeding £5,000 per household occupant of state pension age, with exceptions.

For more information, head to Worcestershire County Council’s website

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How to apply for the HSF in your area

The Government’s website says that those who are in need of help from the Household Support Fund should contact their local council, who will help them access the fund.

To find out if you are eligible to receive assistance from the Household Support Fund in your council area, follow these steps:

  • Visit your local council's website:¬†Most councils have information about the Household Support Fund on their official websites, including eligibility criteria, application processes and contact details for further assistance.
  • Check eligibility criteria:¬†Eligibility often depends on factors such as income level, receipt of certain benefits (like Council Tax Support or Universal Credit) and specific household circumstances (e.g., having children, being a pensioner or having disabilities).
  • Look for application details:¬†Some councils provide automatic payments to eligible residents, while others require an application. Information on how to apply, necessary documentation and deadlines will typically be available on the council's website.
  • Contact Your council directly: If you have difficulty finding the information online, you can contact your local council's customer service or welfare support team for assistance.

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below, whether you have questions about eligibility, want to share tips on navigating the application process, or have insights into accessing local support schemes.

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