THOUSANDS of struggling households can get help with food costs and energy bills – but they need to act quickly.
一个 £500m pot of cash for hard up Brits is being given out by local councils and some have deadlines for applying coming in just a few weeks time.
Money from the Household Support Fund is designed to help those in need cover the cost of essentials over winter.
It comes as millions of people face rising costs of living, including surging energy costs.
Inflation has hit a 30-year high, soaring to 5.4% the most recent figures show putting household budgets under pressure.
Each local council is giving out the cash in different ways and until March 31 – but some areas have earlier deadlines.
For instance you’ll want to apply sooner rather than later if you’re in North Yorkshire as the scheme closes on February 28.
There local residents can get payments of up to £275 if they are already getting help with council tax, and have a child living under 16 在家里.
Anyone eligible should have been sent a letter by North Yorkshire council with a code that’s needed to apply for the help online.
But if you think you’re eligible and haven’t got anything in the post you can fill in the application form online and select the ‘I’ve lost my letter’ option.
The payments come in the form of electronic vouchers that can be used at supermarkets to buy essentials like food and clothing.
Supermarkets you can spend them at include Aldi, 阿斯达, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Other councils have different eligibility criteria and amounts they are giving out, so you’ll need to check with your local authority what you can get.
You can do this by finding your local council using the search tool on gov.uk – just enter your postcode.
Residents of Wealden in East Sussex can apply for a one-off payment of £250 to pay off energy and water bill debts.
同时, families in Barnsley can apply for supermarket vouchers worth up to £200.
Some councils may close the scheme earlier than the deadlines too if there is high demand as there is a limited pot of cash.
So it’s best to check now what you could get or you could miss out.
Unfortunately the scheme may already be closed in some areas, but there could still be other help you can get instead.
For instance the deadline for applications in Elmbridge, Surrey closed today.
But the council and others too offer funds all year round through welfare support schemes and emergency funds.
Again the amount you can get and who’s eligible varies by location, 和 you can check out our guide on how to apply.
You could also get a discount on your council tax bill in some circumstances, or a reduction of 100% which means you would pay nothing at all.
And here’s all the help you could get with energy bills as they are on the rise.
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