Thousands of hard-up households can get up to £180 in free supermarket vouchers | The Sun

THOUSANDS of hard-up households can get up to £180 in free supermarket vouchers to help with the rising cost of living.

The cash vouchers are provided through the Household Support Fund worth £421million.

And fresh funding for the scheme is available to local authorities until March next year.

The scheme was first established last year, extended for the second time in the March budget and for a third time in November 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.

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You'll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help.

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.

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.

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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 Plymouth could get between £147 and £180.

Plymouth residents can get help with food, energy bills, white goods and household furniture.

Those opting for supermarket vouchers can get up to £180 worth to spend in either Asda, Morrisons or Tesco.

If you'd rather have help with your energy bills those on prepayment meters can get a top-up voucher worth £147.

Those on a standard credit meter can get a £150 voucher.

Some households can instead opt to apply for an essential appliance or household furniture, including delivery, installation, and old appliance removal where applicable

Households can only apply for these funds if they did not access support from the previous Household Support Fund between July 6 2022 and November 27 2022.

Only one application can be made per household.

Any applications received that do not meet the initial criteria will be rejected.

To apply, households must also fall into one of the eligible categories:

  • Households with at least one child under 18 who resides in the property on a permanent basis
  • Households where someone has a disability or a long-term health condition
  • Households where someone has reached pension age

How do I apply for the Household Support Fund?

Some households will be notified that they can apply for the 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 Plymouth and think they're eligible for the Household Support Fund will need to apply.

Applications for the first round of funding closed last month but will reopen within days.

Customers will need to check the Plymouth Citizens Advice website over the next few days when an application link drops.

Is there other support available?

As part of the Autumn Statement yesterday, 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.

Right now, eligibility is the list of benefits mentioned above.

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 metre.

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