HARD-UP households can grab £100 free cash towards essential living costs such as bills and food.

The extra support comes as part of the government's Household Support Fund (HSF) initiative.

The HSF was first rolled out in October 2021 with a £500million pot to help vulnerable families get through the tough winter period.

The scheme was intended to run for six months only, until March 31, 2022, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a six month extension to the deadline in his Spring Statement.

The HSF has since been topped up by another £500million, and the funding is now running until September 2022.

The extension will be welcome relief to thousands who are up against the cost of living crisis.

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Last month, inflation rocketed to 7% as a result of sky-high energy bills and fuel prices in another bitter blow to families nationwide.

So the government has stepped in to support those on the brink by giving each UK council a portion of the money.

How can I claim £100 free cash?

Each council determines how to use its budget to help local residents, with many previously dishing out supermarket and fuel vouchers or one-off payments.

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Not all residents can receive the support due to eligibility requirements which can be viewed on each local council's website.

Torbay Council is giving eligible cash-strapped residents a maximum of £50 towards food, and where necessary, another £50 towards energy bills.

Some families may not be eligible for both cash amounts, as the funding is measured on a case by case basis.

Torbay Council's website explains that you must meet the following criteria to be able to apply for the help:

  • Over 16 years of age
  • Living in Torbay
  • Working age and receiving a welfare benefit
  • Pension age and receiving pension credit

If you're not sure whether you fit the criteria, speak to the council directly.

You have to fill out an online form to apply for the cash support, and you may be asked for evidence of your financial struggle.

Can I get cash help if I don't live in Torbay?

Yes. Each council has been given a portion of the funding to help local residents nationwide.

To find out what support is on offer in your area, speak directly to your local council, or visit its website for more details.

You can find your relevant authorities by using the government's local council checker tool and inputting your postcode.

If you find that you're not eligible for the HSF but still require help, there are other support packages you can take advantage of.

For example, big name energy providers have stepped in to help, offering grants that hard-up bill payers can take advantage of.

Charities and organisations may also be able to help, on top of the providers that offer their own grants.

Here are some contacts that could help tide you over for a while:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

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And don't forget, the £150 Council Tax rebate is being paid into thousands of people's accounts already, so look out for that too.

We reveal all the areas set to get their council tax rebate paid within days.

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