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Thousands of households to get £180 free cash paid directly into bank account before Christmas – check if you’ll get it

THOUSANDS of households will get £180 paid directly into their bank accounts before Christmas.

The money comes from local authorities through the Household Support Fund.

Shropshire Council is paying hard-up households up to £180 in free cash

The scheme was first established last year and extended for a second time in the March budget to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.

But the Household Support Fund has been extended for a third time past April 2023 with a renewed £1billion fund.

Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.

The vouchers or grants on offer vary by location and you’ll have to check to see how your council will pay you.

You’ll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help.

You can do that using the government’s local council checker tool by inputting your postcode on Gov.UK.

Depending on your circumstances, households could receive vouchers worth up to £180 – as is the case in Shropshire.

What are councils offering and who is eligible?

Local authorities have had some autonomy on how they use the Fund to reach the vulnerable people in their communities.

Eligibility requirements will vary depending on where you live – so check directly with your council if you could get the cash help.

For example, 5,250 residents eligible for the scheme who live in Shropshire could get a one-off payment worth £180 before Christmas.

Depending on your circumstances you should be eligible for the cash help if:

  • You have not previously received support through the council’s Household Support Fund.
  • You receive housing benefit only.
  • You receive housing benefit on legacy benefits and are in receipt of council tax support.

On top of this Shropshire Council has ringfenced £300,0000 towards its Local Support and Prevention Fund which helps support hard-up families who are most in need of help with food, energy and water bills.

You can apply for this support if you’re:

  • Aged 16 or over.
  • Not under immigration control (there may be some limited examples where people can get help).
  • On a low income and struggling to meet your essential living costs. Essential living costs can include things like food, energy and essential furniture items, but this is not a full list.

Shropshire Council will also continue to offer children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals £15 in supermarket vouchers each week of holiday over the Christmas period.

Households will not need to apply these vouchers and they’ll be sent out by the Council automatically.

How do I apply for the Household Support Fund?

Some households will be notified that they can apply for the cash help and others will receive the cash automatically.

If Shropshire Council already holds your bank detail and you’re eligible for the £180 payment, it will be issued automatically.

Other identified households will be invited to apply for the cash.

A full list of what you’ll need to help with your application is detailed by the council.

The Council has said that it aims to have paid or contacted all eligible residents before Christmas.

Households wishing in need of support through the Local Support and Prevention Fund will need to apply.

The quickest way to apply is to call Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9078 (and select option 2) between 8:45am and 5pm to make an application.

The operator will gather some basic information from you about your circumstances (including your household, your income and savings), and ask you what help you need.

You can also apply by downloading and completing an application form on the Council’s website.

Is there other support available?

As part of the Autumn Statement yesterday, it was revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900.

Eight million households currently get cost of living payments worth up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.

Right now, eligibility is the list of benefits mentioned above.

Pensioners have also started getting a £300 one-off payment.

The current pensioner cost of living payment is being handed out to millions on a low income.

You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the winter fuel payment, but this could change under the new rules.

The £300 cost of living payment is paid on top of the other winter support.

You’ll need to be:

  • born on or before 25 September 1956
  • have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the “qualifying week”

Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.

The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you’ll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.

Households in England and Wales don’t need to apply to get the cash and they’ll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.

You can read more about who’s eligible here.

There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.

British Gas has recently confirmed that it’ll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.

Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:

There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.

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  1. Pingback: Cost of living latest: Thousands of households have just two days left to claim £324 free cash – see if you qualify

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