Households could secure £180 support as cost of living crisis deepens – how to claim | Personal Finance | Finance

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The financial support can be claimed through the Household Support Fund which the Government launched last year to support households most in need during the cost of living crisis. The exact criteria to be eligible for the fund is decided by each local council and will vary from area to area – the help some councils are offering will not be available to everyone. Some councils are giving the cash out automatically, while others will need to apply directly.

People living in Shropshire, for example, could be able to claim a one-off payment of £180 if they are struggling and to claim this people will need to meet the criteria of Shropshire Council.

Individuals must be on a low income and must not have received help from the Household Support Fund previously.

Households must also be receiving housing benefits, or be claiming benefits such as Universal Credit.

In Shropshire, the local council will contact those who are eligible to claim the support and those who are will be paid the money before Christmas.

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In addition, children in Shropshire who qualify for free school meals will also get £15 per week over the Christmas holidays for food.

In Coventry, households can claim a one-off supermarket coucher of £36 whilst Kensington and Chelsea council are offering payments of £150 to help cover the cost of household bills and food.

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council is offering households £200 toward their energy and water bills, and Derby City Council is giving a one-off award of up to £120 if households have a child aged 18.

In the Government’s guidance for councils, the DWP states local authorities should “particularly consider how they can support those vulnerable households who are ineligible for other Government support.”

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In particular, the DWP suggests councils should consider prioritising households that have not received any of the previous support payments.

These are the £400 energy rebate, £150 council tax rebate, the £650 cost of living payment, and £150 disability cost of living payment.

The DWP guidance advises local authorities the Household Support Fund “should be used to support households in the most need”.

Britons are encouraged to contact their local council if they are struggling to see if they are able to claim from the Household Fund Support scheme.

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To access the Household Support Fund, people will need to contact their local council, with many councils having a dedicated webpage explaining how they are running the scheme.

These pages will also detail who is eligible, what support can be provided, and how a person can apply.

Most of the time, people will need to be on a low income, claim certain benefits or be over state pension age to receive the help.

Dependent on the different councils people will need to be over the age of 16 years or 18 years to be eligible.

Certain councils will also reject applications if a person has savings.

Britons will need their National Insurance number to apply as well as details about their household finances, a person’s individual earnings and their expenses.

Councils will also require people to produce evidence of why they need the support.

If a person’s application is rejected, they will have the ability to appeal the decision.

Initially the scheme was worth £500million but has been boosted several times since its original launch.

The Government made another £421million available in Household Support Fund money available from October 1.

This takes the total amount allocated to the fund to just over £1.26billion since it first started.

The Household Support Fund will now run until March 31 next year.

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