THOUSANDS of households have just weeks left to apply for up to £300 in free cash to help with the cost of living.
Local authorities are using cash from the Household Support Fund to pay those that are eligible.
The scheme was first established last year and extended for a second time in the March budget to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.
But the Household Support Fund has been extended for a third time with a renewed £1billion fund.
Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.
And the vouchers or grants on offer vary by location and you'll have to check to see how your council will pay you.
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Eligibility requirements will also vary depending on where you live – so check directly with your council if you could get the cash help.
The third batch of the Household Support Fund runs up until March 2023 – however, councils have the power to set their own deadlines for divvying out the free cash.
And now thousands of families have just weeks left to apply for the cost of living cash.
A couple of areas, including Nottinghamshire and Harrow, have deadlines at the end of January, so you'll need to be quick if you want to get involved.
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Those living in Harrow, London, can apply for free cash worth up to £300.
Meanwhile, people in Nottinghamshire can get up to £180.
Residents in Harrow, London, have just weeks left to apply for free cash worth up to £300.
Harrow Council is offering 750 households one-off cash payments worth £300 direct into their bank accounts.
But the scheme is only open for eligible residents until January 31, 2023, so you'll need to apply soon.
To get the £300 payment, you have to meet certain eligibility criteria:
- You must be responsible for paying for energy in the property you live in
- No one else in your household can have received help via the Household Support Fund before
- You also must not have received the £650 cost of living payment or £150 disability cost of living payment from the government
And you have to meet a number of other criteria, including receiving certain benefits.
For the full details, you should check out Harrow Council's website.
You can apply for the £300 payment on Harrow Council's website – but bear in mind you'll need to submit evidence proving your eligibility.
Nottinghamshire County Council
Households in Nottinghamshire can collect cash to go towards food and energy bills this month if they're struggling.
They can get £90 for each child claiming free school meals – £30 towards food costs and £60 for covering energy costs.
If the household has more than one child eligible for free school meals, the household will receive an additional £30 per child towards their food costs.
For example, two eligible children can get £120 in support.
Three children could get £150, while households with four children could get £180 in support.
Eligible households can apply for the payment from now by completing an online form on the council's website.
If anyone is unable to complete the form, they should contact the council’s customer service team.
It's best to check in with Nottinghamshire County Council's website to get more information about the scheme and to see if you are eligible.
Make sure you have information to hand about your financial situation, like any payslips or benefit payments you get.
What if I don't live in Harrow or Nottinghamshire?
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.
But be quick – while the deadline for councils to hand out the latest tranche of HSF cash support is March 31, 2023, it's done on a first-come-first-serve basis.
For example, thousands of residents in Plymouth are due electronic vouchers to help pay for food and other essentials at supermarkets.
And eligible households can get up to £180 in free supermarket vouchers depending on their circumstances.
Thousands of residents in North Yorkshire are also due electronic supermarket vouchers worth up to £325.
What other support is available?
As part of the Autumn Statement, it was revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900.
Eight million households currently get cost-of-living payments worth up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.
Pensioners have also started getting a £300 one-off payment.
The current pensioner cost of living payment is being handed out to millions on a low income.
You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the winter fuel payment, but this could change under the new rules.
The £300 cost of living payment is paid on top of the other winter support.
You'll need to be:
- born on or before 25 September 1956
- have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the "qualifying week"
Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who's eligible here.
There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling:
- 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 also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment meter.
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