THOUSANDS of households can get £100 free cash in vouchers to help with soaring bills.
The support comes via the Household Support Fund (HSF) which is worth £421million.
The pot of money from the Government has been shared between local councils.
But each local authority decides how to allocate their portion of the fund so what you will get depends on where you live.
In most cases, the help is given to households on benefits or a low income.
In Middlesborough, households can get a supermarket voucher or energy voucher worth up to £100 – but they only have until March 31 to apply.
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How much you get depends on your circumstances.
The council has two pots of funding – one for households who claim benefits and another for those who don't.
If you don't claim benefits, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- You must have an income of £25,000 or less (before tax).
- You must also have less than £6,000 in savings.
- If you're a couple living together, you must have an income of £45,000 or less (before tax) and less than £6,000 in savings.
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To be eligible, you must not be getting any of these benefits, or only have been getting them since 26 September 2022:
- Universal Credit
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
For households getting benefits, you could be entitled to the support if:
- You're a single person with income of £25,000 or less (before tax) and less than £6,000 in savings.
- A couple living together with an income of £45,000 or less (before tax) and less than £6,000 in savings.
- You have evidence that you did not get a cost of living payment from the government.
If your application is successful, you'll get a supermarket voucher or an energy voucher.
The voucher will be worth £50 for a single person household.
While a for a single person with children, or a couple with no children, with get a £75 voucher.
But couples with children will get a voucher worth £100.
The support will be sent as an e-voucher to email addresses – so keep an eye on your inbox.
They will be redeemable at supermarkets or can be used towards energy costs.
What if I don't live in Middlesborough?
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 round of HSF cash support is March 31, 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.
And keep an eye out for more support becoming available soon.
The government announced yesterday it is pumping a further £842million into the pot of cash which councils are giving out.
It means more families and individuals struggling with the cost of living will be able to apply for the Household Support Fund
What other support is available?
Millions of hard-up households will begin to receive a £900 cost of living payment from April – but many won't qualify.
The free cash will be paid out in three instalments to help those on certain benefits with the cost of living.
The first payment of £301 will be made in the spring, with a second of £300 in the autumn and a final £299 instalment in the spring of 2024.
More than eight million people will have the cash paid directly into their bank accounts.
Here we list the six types of benefits including Universal Credit that will qualify you for the free cash.
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:
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- 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.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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