Thousands not eligible for DWP benefits could still get £350 in free cash paid directly to bank accounts

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THOUSANDS not eligible for DWP benefits like Universal Credit can still get free cost of living cash paid directly to their bank accounts.

The cash support comes through the Household Support Fund, which is worth £842million.

Hard-up households in Wealden can get up to £350 in free cash

The scheme was first established in 2021, extended for the second time in the 2022 March budget, for a third time in November and a fourth time in the 2023 Spring Budget.

It is there to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.

Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.

The vouchers or grants on offer vary by location so you’ll have to check to see what you can get and how your council will pay you.

You’ll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help, but you don’t necessarily need to be claiming DWP benefits like Universal Credit to claim the cash.

For example, thousands of residents in Wealden can get free cash paid directly to their bank accounts to help pay for food, utility bills and other essentials.

Eligible households can get up to £350 depending on their circumstances.

What are councils offering and who is eligible?

Local authorities have had some autonomy on how they use the Fund to reach the vulnerable people in their communities.

Eligibility requirements will vary depending on where you live – so check directly with your council if you could get the cash help.

For example, residents eligible for the scheme who live in Wealden can get £350.

To be considered for the payment you must: 

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be a resident within the Wealden District
  • Be getting housing benefit and/or council tax reduction
  • Not be getting any relevant means-tested benefits


  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be a resident within the Wealden District
  • Be getting housing benefit and/or council tax reduction
  • Be receiving means-tested benefit which must include either carer’s allowance, the carer’s element of Universal Credit or a disability benefit

How do I apply for the Household Support Fund?

Some households will be notified that they can apply for cash help and others will receive the cash automatically.

Again, your council will set out whether or not you need to apply for the free cash.

Those who live in Wealden and think they’re eligible for the Household Support Fund will need to apply by filling in an online form.

You can locate the form on Torbay Council’s website.

Applications opened on May 2 and you can apply via the Apply4Online portal by logging in with the code 658AXD.

What if I don’t live in Torbay?

Your local council will likely have its own version of the scheme going and you should get in contact with them to find out more.

For example, thousands of residents in Cornwall can get £160 in support.

Those who apply will get two payments of £80 directly into their bank accounts.

Those living in Medway in Kent, can apply for up to £210 in support.

Eligible households can get vouchers for food costs and energy bills.

Check with your local council to see what support is on offer.

What other help is available?

Millions are also in line to receive cost of living payments worth up to £1,350.

The first instalment of the £900 payment is currently being paid to millions on certain benefits, including Universal Credit and Pension Credit, as of April 25

Meanwhile, a £150 payment and between £150-£300 payment will be made to millions with disabilities and pensioners.

You may be entitled to the £150 disability cost of living payment if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

If you are eligible for the payment, it will be made this summer.

Meanwhile, pensioners who are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/24 will get an extra £150 or £300 paid on top of their normal payment from November this year.

You will be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment this winter if you were born before September 25, 1957.

Those eligible for the payment will receive a letter in October and November telling them how much money to expect.

Energy suppliers also offer plenty of energy grants and schemes to help you out if you’re struggling.

Here’s a list of schemes open right now:

  • British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
  • Octopus Energy Assist Fund
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund

There’s a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment meter.

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