VULNERABLE families across England can claim up to £150 to help with their weekly shop – here's how to get it.
The Household Support Fund is lending a helping hand to those struggling amid soaring prices and increasing inflation.
Dorset Council is taking part in the scheme and offering their eligible residents supermarket vouchers worth £150 that can be used towards the weekly food shop.
Within six to eight weeks of a successful application, the tokens will come through but only one person per household is allowed to apply.
Who is eligible?
Dorset Council have decided the annual household net income of an applicant must be less than £30,000.
This does not include payments such as Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, or Child Benefit.
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Applicants must also have less than £16,000 savings in the bank.
Officials also stated a household will not be eligible if they have applied for a previous HSF within the last six months.
When can you apply?
Households can apply from 9am on the following dates:
- Tuesday 4 April 2023
- Wednesday 3 May 2023
- Tuesday 6 June 2023
- Tuesday 4 July 2023
- Wednesday 2 August 2023
- Thursday 7 September 2023
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Parents do not need to worry about their children's Free School Meal holiday vouchers for May half term and summer holiday as the HSF will continue to fund them.
Schools and Early Years institutions will automatically hand out these vouchers for eligible students.
A discretionary holiday voucher may also be offered if a family is in significant financial stress, suffering a drop in household income or loss of a job.
If you are unsure whether your child is able to be granted Free School Meal vouchers, check here.
Household Support Fund
The scheme is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions and has been created to help support vulnerable households throughout England.
It was launched in October 2021 to help Brits through the winter amid a crippling cost of living crisis.
Around £500million was shared between councils up and down the country to give to residents in need.
It is designed to help those struggling to afford energy and water bills, food or any other essential item.
If an applicant is already receiving benefits, these will not be affected by the HSF.
And, you do not need to be getting benefits to receive vouchers or funds from the HSF.
Every council will provide the means they feel best suits their area, and not everywhere has re-launched the scheme following its last application round on March 31.
Check with your local council to find out what support is available and the eligibility criteria.
In North Yorkshire thousands of locals received electronic supermarket vouchers worth up to £325 and the council have stated they will be delivering a fourth phase of help later this year.
Buckinghamshire Council have also extended their support after receiving £4.8million for April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2023.
Emergency requests for urgent help with food and household fuel are currently being prioritised but for more information on how to apply, click here.
Residents in North Norfolk District Council are also set to see a fourth round of the HSF from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 but details are still being finalised.
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In Greater Manchester, Wigan Council has also extended support this month through to next year for those struggling to make ends meet – to check if you are eligible, click here.
Those needing help in Shropshire have also been granted a fourth round of HSF funds from April 1, 2023 and details are yet to be confirmed.
Free help and advice
And if you’re struggling with debt, you can contact charities and organisations which can offer free help and advice:
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
- Step Change – 0800 138 1111
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
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