Are you entitled to financial support this winter?
The government has launched a £ 500million support fund to help vulnerable households with the essentials this winter.
The Household Support Fund will be distributed by councils in England which will provide small grants to meet daily needs such as food, clothing and utilities.
The money will be made available to local authorities in October 2021, with decentralized administrations receiving up to £ 79million of the £ 500million.
Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “Over the past year, we have helped millions of people provide for their families. Many are now back on their feet, but we know some may still need additional support. Our Targeted Household Support Fund is here to help these vulnerable households with essential costs as we take the final stages of our recovery from the pandemic. “
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Everyone should be able to afford the essentials, and we are committed to making sure that is the case. Our new Household Support Fund will provide a lifeline for those at risk of struggling to meet their bills during the winter, adding to the support the government is already providing to help people meet the cost of living. “
This new fund will operate during the winter and those who need support should contact their local council who will help them access the fund.
Sarah Pennells, Consumer Credit Specialist at Royal London, said: “As we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, it is vital that there is help for those who are financially vulnerable. Beginning in October, many families are likely to have a much harder time making ends meet each month, especially given the reduction in universal credit and rising bills. As energy costs are expected to skyrocket and winter approaches, this additional government funding is desperately needed to help the most vulnerable households heat their homes and feed their families.
“Anyone worried about paying their bills should contact their energy supplier first, while organizations like our charity partner Turn2us can help people determine if there are other benefits or grants they may be entitled to. . “
Other supports available to vulnerable households include the Warm Home Discount which offers a £ 140 rebate on energy bills each winter to over 2.2 million low-income households and the Cold Weather Payment which offers 25 Extra £ per week to poorer households when the temperature is consistently below freezing.
Earlier this year, the government expanded the £ 221million holiday and food program, which provided meals and activities for underprivileged children during the Easter and summer holidays, and the will do again at Christmas.
The launch of the Household Support Fund comes at the end of the leave scheme, which has been supporting workers since March 2020.