List of councils paying extra free cash to households on Universal Credit worth up to £300 – see if you’re eligible | The Sun

UNIVERSAL Credit claimants could be eligible for an extra wad of cash depending on where they live.

The support would come from the Household Support Fund – a £421million government grant.

The idea is that each council decides how to individually help those struggling for essentials.

That means they could get varying amounts of cash or vouchers for food, bills and energy, and eligibility differs too.

But there are some councils who offer support specifically if you're on Universal Credit.

We've listed what those are below, but remember there are other councils offering money to different low income households if this isn't you.

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And do note how much you are awarded will depend on your personal circumstances.

Blackpool

Blackpool Council is offering hard-up households up to £300 in free energy credit vouchers.

To apply for Blackpool's Household Support Fund applicants must be:

  • Over the age of 16 and responsible for paying electricity/gas bills for the property
  • A Blackpool Council resident (receive a council tax bill from Blackpool Council)
  • Experiencing financial hardship and not have enough resources to meet your immediate short-term needs

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Do note there is no requirement to be in receipt of DWP benefits to apply to this fund, but being on the likes of Universal Credit might help you get accepted.

An award of £200 will be made to qualifying households of one or two people (including children) and £300 to qualifying households of three or more people (including children).

Every council also has the autonomy to decide whether or not its customers need to apply for the support directly.

If you live in Blackpool you can apply for the cash offered through the Household Support Fund by filling in an online form Council's website.

Households have until March 31 to apply for the funding but the sooner you apply, the sooner you'll get the cash.

Councils also have a right to shut their application process early if they've spent the funding before the original deadline – so it's best to get your applications in quickly.

For Blackpool, you'll need a recent bank statement from earliest three months ago when you apply, along with a recent copy of your gas and electricity bill.

Lewes and Eastbourne

If you live in the Lewes and Eastbourne area, the council is awarding up to £250 in cash to go towards heating, lighting, water bills or food.

Those on the following benefits can claim the money:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job-Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income Based Employment & Support Allowance

You can apply online on the council website.

You'll need your National Insurance Number and a recent bank statement handy.

Derbyshire

Households living in the Derbyshire Council area can claim up to £64 for help affording food and essential items.

You'll also get an extra £20 for each partner or child under 19 you have living in your household.

To apply, you'll need to call them on 01629 533399.

They'll ask you what kind of position you're in and what will happen if you don't receive any help, and they'll want to know if you've applied for any other grants.

It only says you need to be suffering from financial hardship to apply, so again it might help if you receive certain benefits.

Make sure to have bank information and your National Insurance number by you when you phone up.

Somerset

Somerset Council is offering residents supermarket vouchers to help them afford food in the cost of living crisis.

The maximum amount you can claim is not confirmed as of yet.

To be eligible, you'll need to

  • live in the County of Somerset
  • be over the age of 16
  • be living away from parents or carers
  • be earning under the adequate income to pay for essentials

Other criteria is very broad, and can range between being temporarily out of work to having a child with a chronic illness.

You can read a full list on the website, where you will also find the application form.

The only way you won't get the funding is if you have savings of £2,000 or more.

And alongside food vouchers, you can also choose to get Energy Top Up vouchers to help with pre-payment meters.

Gloucestershire

You can go onto the Gloucestershire Council website to apply for help with food, energy, housing costs and other essentials.

It's not clear how much you could get, but you could be receiving one of the following to become eligible:

  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Child tax Credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Carers Allowance
  •  Winter Fuel Payment
  •  Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • Child tax credit income, applied for UC and awaiting payment

You should be living in Gloucestershire and either be above the age of 16 or a pensioner.

There's a bigger list of circumstances if you're not receiving one of the above which could also make you eligible. You can have a look at that on the website too.

To apply, you should send an old and recent payslip, email or letter from an employer confirming redundancy or P45 slip to [email protected]

That's if you're struggling with loss of income. If you need the grant to battle living costs, you can send:

  • Old and recent bill showing an increase in living costs (utilities, rent, council tax, etc.)
  • Picture of gas and electric metre
  • Most recent universal credit statement (showing your full income/name and address

Kingston

If you're on Universal Credit, Kingston may accept you for its Household Support Fund.

You can find the application form on its website.

The council hasn't specified how much you could get, but that you should email [email protected] for more options and what you could be entitled to.

Including that you receive benefits when you apply might help to show you have insufficient funds, however earning benefits is not a necessity for acceptance.

Do note that if you're a family receiving other grants too, you may still be eligible. Especially if you

  • have additional wider needs in terms of food and utilities 
  • require other essential supplies  
  • include individual family members that are not in receipt of support 

What if I'm not on Universal Credit?

As the fund goes, every council gives out money to whoever they please.

Your individual area may have different requirements from the ones above.

For example, people in Nottinghamshire can get up to £180 from its fund.

However, it's only for families with children.

Households 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.

But if you think you may be eligible, you only have until January 31, 2023 to apply.

Eligible households can apply for the payment from now by completing an online form on the council's website.

The best way to find out what council area you fall under is by using the government's council locator found on its website.

You might have to be quick if you want help though.

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.

And apart from Household Support Funds, millions on benefits will be getting a new £900 cost of living payment next year.

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There will also be another £300 for pensioners and a third payment for those with disabilities at £150.

The help is aimed to help soften the blow of high energy bills, food costs and other necessities.

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