CASH-STRAPPED households struggling to make ends meet could get £120 FREE money to help with essential costs.
The Household Support Fund (HSF) is a government-run scheme that aims to help with bills throughout winter.
With just over two months left for the scheme to run, there’s still time to grab some free money to keep on top of rising bills.
As costs climb in the UK, many families are turning the heating off and making cut-backs on their food bills just to get by.
Families are set to be £1,700 a year worse off because of the cost of living crisis.
It’s no wonder then, than many households are having to choose between heating or eating, as essential costs eat up far more of people’s wages than before.
So it’s important to make use of any help available, including the Government’s HSF scheme.
The scheme has a pot of £500million which is divided up and dished out to councils across England.
Each local authority will get a different amount depending on the area size and need.
What help you can get depends on where you live and what your personal circumstances are, so you’ll need to find out what’s on offer in your area.
To find your local authority, you can use the government’s handy local council checker tool.
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) has been awarded £166,000 to support the most vulnerable people within the area.
And residents in this region could get up to £120 towards essential costs.
How much you get depends on your circumstances. The maximum amount of £120 is reserved for households with two or more children.
Those with one child can receive a maximum of £100, and vulnerable residents without children can get as much as £70.
Of course, whether you get anything at all rests on your eligibility, which we’ll come to shortly.
If you are successful, the money is transferred as a BACS payment to the your bank account, but it won’t be given in one lump sum.
You’ll receive your award in two instalments if the cash given is above £20.
And remember, you don’t have to pay this money back.
EEBC already dished out its first round of funding before the new year, and has said the second round will be awarded in February 2022.
So it’s important to apply soon to avoid missing the next round – especially as the council will stop the funding as soon as the money has run out.
Am I eligible?
The eligibility criteria for EEBC is as follows:
- Be a household living in Epsom & Ewell on October 6 2021;
- The applicant or their partner is in receipt of Council Tax Income Discount or council tax support on October 6 2021; and
- The household has savings of less than £6,000
If you think you fit the bill, head to EEBC’s HSF webpage and click the link to apply. It’s that easy.
The application is a form which you have to complete in full.
What if I don’t live in Epsom and Ewell Borough?
If you don’t live in this local authority, you can’t apply to it for help.
But there may be help available in your own area.
Your local authority will have its own scheme in place based on its budget, and you should contact it directly for more information.
The Sun has put together a broader overview of various different regions and what they have on offer as part of the scheme.
If you don’t qualify for free cash from the HSF, you may be able to get help elsewhere to tackle rocketing winter prices.
You may even be able to apply for help from your energy company if you find you can’t cope with costs.