Just weeks left to get £300 free cash to pay for energy, food and water bills – can you claim | The Sun

HARD-UP households have only a few weeks left to apply for free £300 cash to go towards food and bills.

Families can get the support via the Household Support Fund (HSF) which is worth £421 million.

Councils are provided with a pot of money from the government which they can then hand out to struggling residents.

But each local authority decides how to allocate their portion of the fund so what you will get depends on where you live.

In most cases, the help is given to households on benefits or a low income.

For example, Sefton Council, in Merseyside, is offering families cash to go towards food, energy and water bills.

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What is the Household Support Fund and how do I apply?

Households can get up to £300 in financial support.

To qualify, residents must show they have not received financial support through the Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme in the last six months.

They must also fall under one of the following:

  • That they earn below £26,000 as a couple of £15,600 as a single person
  • They get Universal credit and earn less than £7,400
  • They receive either attendance allowance, cares allowance, disability living allowance, personal independence payment or is a care leaver
  • They did not qualify for other support from the government since the cost of living crisis

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People have until Friday March 31 to apply, otherwise they'll miss out.

It's a first come first serve basis so it's best to apply now to avoid being rejected.

As soon as the money runs out, the scheme will close.

Residents can apply online via the Sefton Council website.

The payment will be paid via the Post Office Pay-out scheme.

If accepted, applicants will be sent a letter in the post, which they will then need to take to their local Post Office to collect the money in cash.

Claimants will also need to bring two of the following to prove their identity:

  • Passport or driving licence
  • Current utility or household bill
  • Council Tax Bill
  • Signed Post Office/Bank card
  • Bank Statement
  • DWP or Housing Benefit award Letter
  • Bus Pass or other photo ID card

Can I get help if I don't like in Sefton?

Yes you can. But each council has been given a different amount through the Household Support Fund.

That means households are receiving different amounts depending on the area.

The money is being distributed in different ways too – some councils are giving out supermarket vouchers while others are paying the money directly into people's bank accounts.

Families in Manchester can get up to £650 in free cash to help them with the cost of living.

Households in Luton can get up to £500 in free supermarket vouchers.

Meanwhile, thousands in Exeter have just days left to apply for up to £650 of support.

How you apply depends on where you live. In some cases residents are being asked to apply directly on council websites.

But you might be able to call through and apply too.

The best thing to do is get in touch with your local council to see if you're eligible and how to apply.

If you don't know what council area you fall under you can use the locator tool found on the Government's website.

Just type "find my local council" into Google and it should be the first link that appears on the page.

Once you've clicked through you just have to enter your postcode and the tool tells you what council area you fall under.

What other bill help is there?

If you are not eligible for the Household Support Fund you might be able to get help through different means.

Lots of energy companies offer grants to customers who are struggling with bills, including British Gas, EDF and E.On.

In some cases, you might be able to get up to £1,500 worth of help, so it's worth seeing if you're eligible.

The best thing to do is contact your supplier to see what they have on offer.

Millions of households should be in the process of receiving the £400 energy rebate as well.

Two payments worth £66 were paid in October and November and a third of £67 in December.

The remaining three payments worth £66 will be paid in January, February and March.

A £900 payment will be going to millions on means-tested benefits and Universal Credit this year.

Elderly Brits will receive another one-off £300 "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment".

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Those with certain disabilities will also qualify for a further £150 cost of living payment.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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