Thousands of households should look out for direct payments worth up to £400 hitting their bank accounts this month | The Sun

Thousands of households should look out for direct payments worth up to £400 hitting their bank accounts this month | The Sun

THOUSANDS of households are being urged to look out for direct payments worth up to £400 hitting their bank accounts this month.

The cost of living crisis has taken a toll on all of us, forcing many people to tighten their purse strings.

However, those on a low-income or certain benefits could get free financial help from their local council.

The help comes via the Household Support Fund, which is worth £842million.

The money is provided by the Government which has distributed it among councils in England.

They then decide how to share their portion of the fund.


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That means what you can get depends on where you live, but in most cases help is offered to those on a low income or benefits.

The type of support on offer varies as well – some local authorities are offering out food or utility bill vouchers while others are making bank transfers.

For example, those living in West Devon could get up to £400.

This is being dished out in two direct payments, with the first being delivered between now and the end of summer.

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While the second payment will be made in December.

The council said the support is aimed at helping people with essential costs such as food, energy and water bills.

It is being given to households who didn't get the £900 cost of living payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The households benefiting from the funding are as follows:

  • Single income households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction
  • Those who have caring responsibilities who receive Council Tax Reduction and Carers Allowance
  • People who get a War Disablement Pension (on 1 August 2023)

If you fall into more than one category, you will still only be eligible for one payment.

Can I get help if I don't live in West Devon?

Yes, but the help available to you will depend on where you live.

Each council is distributing their share of the HSF differently.

Some are handing out vouchers, while others are making bank transfers to eligible residents.

The amount you are entitled to will vary depending on the area you live in too.

If you’re not sure which council is in charge of your area, you can tap your postcode into the government’s local council checker tool to find out.

The most common types of support provided each year are supermarket vouchers, fuel vouchers and one-off payments. 

Bear in mind that many councils haven't opened the application process for the next round of funding yet, so keep an eye out.

Who is eligible for the DWP cost of living payment?

A separate £900 cost of living payment for those on certain benefits is being paid out over the course of the year.

The payment is available for those who receive any of the following:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit

The first payment, worth £301, was paid between April and May.

The second instalment, worth £300, will be paid in autumn.

Spring next year will see the final chunk of the £900 cost of living payment dished out – it is worth £299.

We don't know have an exact date for when the second and third payments will be made.

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has it said it'll provide more information on exact dates nearer the time.

You can check the full list of cost of living payments available on the government website.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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