In an effort to alleviate the financial burden on low-income families amidst the cost of living crisis, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced a scheme under the Household Support Fund (HSF).
This initiative entitles eligible households to supermarket vouchers worth up to £160, alongside assistance with utility bills.
The HSF is a substantial fund distributed across various UK councils, aiming to support struggling families in their localities. Each council has the autonomy to determine the criteria for eligibility, which may be based on annual income or existing benefit entitlements, among other factors.
One notable council taking part is Cheshire East, which has been allocated £4.4 million to aid residents in need. The support includes supermarket vouchers for food purchases, utility bill payments, and additional help towards housing or boiler repairs.
Eligibility and Application:
The eligibility criteria in Cheshire East, for instance, encompass families receiving income-related free school meals, early years pupil premium, young carers, care leavers up to 25, and those not engaged in education, employment, or training aged 16-18. Eligible families were notified through letters sent out in October.
Moreover, individuals and families in the Cheshire East area can receive extra support through professional referrals, providing assistance like supermarket vouchers, cash for energy vouchers, boiler repair/replacements, and housing cost support for renters.
To avail of this support, eligible individuals must be referred by a trusted practitioner or professional assisting them. The initiative underscores a structured approach to providing timely assistance to those in need, offering a semblance of relief in financially challenging times.