HOUSEHOLDS must check today to make sure they get a £30 supermarket voucher in time for Christmas.
Local councils across the country are handing out millions of pounds to help families and low income households, and you could get money in time for Christmas.
The Household Support Fund is a £500million pot of cash spread across different councils in the country.
Local authorities can use the money to help families in their area.
What support is available varies between councils, so you’ll need to check with your local council what help is available in the region you live in.
Those living in Cambridgeshire could get a £30 supermarket voucher in time for the Christmas holidays.
The funding is being giving to eligible families with children to help cover bills this winter.
Households that meet a low income criteria can get extra help.
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The local authority is offering assistance to those who earn less than £17,940 a year or people who receive one of the following benefits:
- Income support
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Low earners can get help with food and essential supplies, paying for gas electricity, oil or waster, and other essentials such as boiler repairs.
But the council is also offering a £30 shopping voucher per child in time for the festive shop.
How does it work?
If your child is eligible for free school meals, early years pupil premium, funded two-year-old support, or is aged 16 to 19 and eligible for free school meals or the 16+ bursary, you should automatically receive a voucher if you live in the area.
Parents should receive a text from “SchoolMeals” or an email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
You select your supermarket of choice and then receive your voucher by text or email.
Recipients can click the link to download their voucher code and use it in their chosen store.
It can also be accessed through an EVouchers app.
If you select your supermarket before midday, your voucher should arrive on the same day.
If you choose your store are midday on a Friday, you should get the voucher on the following Monday.
Most vouchers are received within 30 minutes of you choosing a supermarket.
Cambridgeshire County Council said most parents should have received their voucher by December 17.
So if you haven’t got yours yet and you believe you’re eligible, you’ll need to get in touch to make sure it arrives in time for Christmas.
The council has advised you should email email@example.com if you’ve not received the voucher.
Include the name of your child, their date of birth, and the name of the school they attend.
Residents have until January 28, 2022 to claim the voucher.
Which retailers are included in the scheme?
The council said major supermarkets are included in the scheme including:
The expiry date of the voucher will vary depending on which store you choose ranging from December 31, 2021 up to five years’ time.
The voucher can only be used online at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – if you select another supermarket, you’ll have to spend it in-store.
There are also some restrictions to bear in mind. For example, at Asda the voucher is not valid at petrol stations or for tobacco products, stamps, lottery or phone to-ups.
If you don’t spend the full amount on one shop, you can keep the outstanding balance for your next shop.
What other help is available?
Cambridgeshire residents are not the only households which can get extra help this Christmas.
The Sun has looked into all the assistance on offer from councils up and down the country.
Each council decides what to help with, how much cash to dish out, and who is eligible, so you’ll need to check what’s available in your area – you can find out who yours is via the gov.uk website.
Families in North Yorkshire could get a £125 voucher to help pay for food and essentials
Meanwhile, those living in the East Riding of Yorkshire have until Christmas Eve to apply for up to £285 to help pay for household essentials and bills.
Shropshire Council is also giving households £115 in free cash to be put towards food, energy and water bills
If there is not Household Support Fund help available to you in your area, there are other schemes that might be able to help.
The Welfare assistance scheme can get up to £1,000 in free cash and vouchers for food, furniture and bills.
You might be able to get your council tax bill reduced if you are struggling to pay.
And if you’re struggling to pay rent, you could apply for a discretionary housing payment.
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