THOUSANDS of households can apply for free cash worth up to £128 to help pay for food, energy or essential living costs.
It comes via the Household Support Fund (HSF), a central pot of money from the government.
Households in Derbyshire can get help via the Household Support Fund
The latest tranche of the fund is worth £421 million and has been shared between local councils.
But local authorities are allocating their share differently – that means what you are line for will vary depending on where you live.
Who is eligible changes depending on the council area too – but usually the help is given to households on a low income or benefits.
Residents in Manchester could get up to £650 in free cash – but they only have until March 31 to apply.
Meanwhile, residents in Derbyshire can call the council to apply for £128 in free cash to pay for food, energy or essential living costs.
Those applying have to prove they are facing financial hardship.
They can apply by calling the council on 01629 533399 and filling out an application.
During the application the council will take your personal details and then call you back to discuss the application in more detail.
The assessor will need to know the following two pieces of information though:
- how a person or family is in crisis and what will happen if help is not quickly made available
- what money and savings might be available or have been applied for
You should get your application in soon though – once the council’s funding is allocated there’s no more.
It’s also worth noting you can only make an application if you are over 16 and living in Derbyshire.
Plus, the HSF payments will be made on top of any support received from the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund.
What other help is available?
On top of the Household Support Fund help, 23,000 Derbyshire households will be contacted about a one-off voucher to help with energy bills worth £70.
The vouchers will be given to pensioners who receive council tax support and adults receiving home care support on a low income.
Letters explaining how households can access and redeem the vouchers will be sent out in the post this month.
But, they can be exchanged at any Post Office branch within one month of the date of the letter.
You will need to take a valid passport, driving licence and two official letters with your name and address on with you.
Can I get help if I don’t live in Derbyshire?
Simply put, yes. You can get help if you don’t live in Derbyshire, but what you are entitled to will vary.
Bromley Council, in London, is offering thousands of struggling households £200 energy bill vouchers.
Plus, thousands of residents in North Yorkshire are due electronic supermarket vouchers worth up to £325.
Some councils have allocated their share of the fund so you might miss out.
You might receive the money as a voucher and some councils are offering the money as a direct bank transfer.
Councils have until March 31 to allocate their share of the fund, but some have set earlier deadlines for residents to claim any support.
The best thing to do is contact your local council if you think you might be in line for help.
This will usually be if you are on benefits, like Universal Credit, or a low income.
If you don’t know what council area you fall under you can use the government’s council locator tool.
You type in “find my local council” into Google and it should be the first link that appears.
What other help is available?
In the Autumn Statement, chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900 cost of living payment.
Meanwhile, millions of households should be in the process of receiving a £400 energy rebate.
The money is being applied as a discount for the majority of households, although those on prepayment meters are being issued vouchers to redeem at their nearest top-up point.
Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living too.
Under the scheme, eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter.
You don’t have to apply for the cash as you will automatically qualify if you are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who’s eligible here.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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