Thousands of households to get FREE cash for food and bills – how to claim

THOUSANDS of households will be able to apply for FREE cash to put towards paying for food and fuel bills.

Councils across the country have been given an extra £500million to dish out to hard-up residents under the Household Support Fund.

The scheme was launched in October last year to help hard-up households whose budgets had been clobbered by the Covid crisis.

It was due to end in March this year, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the help in his Spring Statement and doubled the fund to £1billion.

Local councils have been given a share of the £500million extra cash on offer and are in charge of distributing the money.

The support can be given as cash grants or vouchers to pay for things like heating your home or covering the cost of your weekly grocery shop.

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Kingston upon Thames council has been given nearly £863,000, and will give a third for families with children, a third to pensioners and the rest to those who need it most.

On its website, the council said it wants to "focus on direct food and fuel vouchers being administered directly to residents".

It comes as millions as families saw their energy bills double when the price cap went up in April.

The price cap limits the amount of money suppliers can charge customers for their energy, and now the average bill stands at £1,971 a year.

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While shoppers are facing food price hikes of up to 60% as the cost of groceries soars.

Who is eligible for the help?

To get the help from Kingston upon Thames council, you mist hit one or more of the following:

  • You don't have enough money to pay for nutritional meals between April 1 20222 to September 30 2022
  • You don't have enough money to keep your home warm, keep the electricity or gas on or access water for cooking
  • You don't have enough money for essentials like food, toiletries, warm clothing, and white goods like fridges and ovens
  • You have an urgent housing need
  • You are vulnerable

Cash will also be given out to community organisations to distribute.

If Kingston upon Thames isn't your local council, check who yours is on the website.

You will then be able to ask your local authority for what help it is giving out under the scheme – and if you are eligible to apply.

What help will I get?

Each council decides what help they will offer to those in need.

For example, Salford City Council are providing residents with thermal curtains to help heat their homes, and Torbay offers £50 for households struggling to afford food and bills.

Each council has a different application process and eligibility requirements may vary.

Make sure to check with yours if you can get the help.

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The Sun has reported on the different kinds of help that local councils up and down the country were offering when the scheme first launched.

For example, households were able to claim a £125 voucher to help pay for food and other essentials.

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