THOUSANDS of families struggling to afford essentials like food or gas can claim financial help throughout winter.
The Household Support Scheme, with a pot of £500million to be dished out, aims to help vulnerable families facing tough times throughout the cold months.
With three months left, there’s still time to grab free cash to help you avoid an emergency.
Or for those already at crisis point, this government scheme could help you out, but it’s important to apply soon.
As the scheme is halfway through, there may not be a lot of funding to go around, especially if your area was given a lower budget to begin with.
Every council in England has been handed a different amount of money to support their local residents, and it’s up to them to decide how they dish it out.
For example, Darlington received just under £1million, whereas Birmingham received almost £13million. The funding is based on the needs of each area.
To check which authority your area falls under, you can use the government’s handy local council checker tool.
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Once you’ve found your local council, it’s worth contacting them directly to find out what help is on offer, as some are providing help on a case-by-case basis.
Many councils are providing fuel vouchers to help with rocketing energy costs, and families with children could get extra school meal vouchers on top of this.
Halton Borough Council is offering exactly this.
If you’re a Halton Resident in need of support, you could grab a £49 voucher towards energy costs.
And those with children could also bank £20 vouchers to cover free school meals over the February and Easter half term on top of the energy vouchers.
But please note these vouchers can only go to kids who are eligible for free school meals during term time.
Halton’s Household Support Funding grant is £1.3million, and 50% of this must be spent on vulnerable households with children.
The remainder of the funding is for vulnerable individuals without children.
In addition, extra funding has been made to the Council’s Discretionary Support Scheme that provides local welfare support in the form of food parcels and Paypoint vouchers for energy costs.
Help like this has become a necessity for households hard hit by the increasing energy cap and all round inflation.
As a result, Brits all over are facing a cost of living crisis, meaning they are forced to make challenging decisions like whether to prioritise heating or eating.
For those who aren't eligible for the Household Support Scheme funding, you may still be able to get a £140 bill discount from 10 energy providers – here's how.
Elsewhere, certain Households in colder areas could get extra support with energy bills under government plans to tackle soaring heating costs.
The Sun also uncovers seven heating issues that could be adding £5,000 a year to your expenditure – spot if you're home has any of these and how to fix them.
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