Household Support Fund: Just days left to apply for cost of living cash boost - here’s how
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Households are being warned that there are just days left to apply for a cash boost from the Household Support Fund. The scheme was unveiled at the end of September 2021, with £500m set aside to help vulnerable families fund essentials during the cost of living crisis.
The Household Support Fund originally covered the period from October 6, 2021 to March 31, 2022. However, it was extended when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was then Chancellor, announced a doubling of the fund to £1bn.
The money is distributed to local authorities who then use it in whatever way they see fit. Some councils have chosen to supply vulnerable residents with grocery vouchers, whereas others have funded energy-saving items such as electric blankets and air fryers.
Many councils across the UK are still running the scheme, but must spend the entirety of the money they received by March 31, so most applications are closing next week. Although the main focus has been on councils in England receiving the funding, it has since been divided to allow up to £79m to be distributed across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Who is eligible for the Household Support Fund?
The criteria varies from one council to another, and the application process may also vary. But many councils have stated eligibility will depend on your ability to meet either your own needs or those of dependents.
Half of the available funding will go to families with children in some cases, while the remainder may go to households without children, including people living alone. The eligible age also varies – in some cases you can be 16 or over to apply, elsewhere it’s limited to those over the age of 18.
You should check the website of your local council in order to see what the eligibility requirements are in the area you are living in. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is soon set to deliver his spring budget, which will update both MPs and the public on how the government plans to support households moving forwards.
How to apply for the Household Support Fund
You’ll need to contact your local council directly for details of how to apply. You can find out yours by entering your postcode at the Government website. According to the government, any benefits being claimed will not be affected when receiving a payment from a Household Support Fund scheme.