Thousands of Brits could get up to £80 FREE if they’re struggling with household support scheme – find out how to claim

THOUSANDS of households struggling to make ends meet could get £80 in free cash this Christmas.

Hard-up families can apply to the government's £500million Household Support Fund to get help with food, energy bills and clothes.

Before, Brits could apply to the Covid local support grant where you could get up to £1,500 to pay for food, bills and more, a Sun investigation found – but the new scheme has now replaced this.

It will also help Universal Credit claimants who saw their payments drop by £20 a week after the government slashed the benefit uplift get extra help.

The new scheme comes as families are battling against a cost of living crisis, leaving one in 10 unable to make their cash stretch until pay day.

Households are battling against soaring energy bills, rising inflation and a hike to food and petrol prices too.

If you're struggling, you can help through the Household Support Fund through their local council.

Each authority has a different application process in place that you can apply through – and could help you get by during one of the most expensive times of he year.

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The Sun has seen that families can get free cash, vouchers and more to help them get through one of the most expensive times of the year.

For example, you could get up to £80 in free cash from Spelthorne Borough Council.

Brits eligible for the help will be given a one-off payment, the value of which will be decided by the council based on your situation.

Those living in households aged over 70 can get up to £50, homes with 18 to 69 year-olds living there can get up to £60, and families with children can get up to £80.

You will get one payment per household, and you must claim certain benefits to qualify – such as Universal Credit or pension credit.

To apply and see if you are eligible for the free cash, you can apply on Spelthorne's website for the help.

If Spethorne Borough Council is not your local authority, you will need to find out from your own council what support they are offering under the Household Support Fund.

To find yours, visit the gov.uk's website and use it's authority finder tool.

Exactly what help is available will vary depending on who your local council is.

This is because each council will decide what – and how much – they will give to those in need.

However, The Sun spotted that some councils were offering up to £140 in supermarket vouchers to spend at shops including Tesco and Aldi this Christmas.

You can also get vouchers to help with your energy bills worth up to £120 if you live in West Northamptonshire.

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While others were offering up to £60 of vouchers for children's clothing.

Each council will have its own application process for the help – you should visit your local council's website or ring them up for more information.

How else can I get help with bills?

If you're not eligible for the Household Support Fund, don't panic – there are other ways to get help in time for Christmas.

See if you are eligible for the warm home discount and get up to £140 towards your bills.

Cold weather payments are also available and you can get to help cover the cost of heating when temperatures drop – you'll get £25 for every seven day period where the weather is below 0C.

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Many councils also run welfare assistance schemes to help you with essential purchases and bills.

A Sun investigation found that you could get up to £1,000 in help paying for food, furniture and bills.

But it's also a postcode lottery – some councils are offering more help than others, while some don't even have a scheme in place.

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