Household Support Fund: Who is eligible, how do I apply and what changes have been made?

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced the changes to the Household Support Fund as part of the Government’s Spring Statement on March 23, 2022.

Initially announced in September 2021, Rishi Sunak announced during the Spring Statement that the Household Support Fund will be doubled from £500 million to £1 billion.

The fund has been set up to help people across the UK cope with the increased general cost of living, as well as the increase in inflation, which has risen by 8 per cent (the highest it has been in 30 years).

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The fund will be distributed to local councils, who will then choose how to spend it. For example, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council will be giving out vouchers of up to £200, which people can spend at selected shops. As such, how the money is spent will vary from council to council.

The Household Support Fund is set to increase to £500, following the Spring Statement.The Household Support Fund is set to increase to £500, following the Spring Statement.
The Household Support Fund is set to increase to £500, following the Spring Statement.

Following the Covid pandemic, families across the country have taken a financial hit, with many being pushed closer or into poverty (including those in Sheffield). With the rise in inflation and raised cost of living in the UK, the amount of impoverished households could very well increase.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has recently claimed that UK households are currently experiencing the greatest recorded drop in living standards since 1956.

Who is eligible for the Household Support Fund?

To apply for the Household Support Fund, you must be over 16 years of age – however, some councils insist that you must be over 18. Single applicants can also apply – you do not need to living with a partner or children to receive the grant.

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Half of the grant has been set aside for households with children – the aim of the Household Support Fund is to help families in poverty across the UK. Despite this, anyone who is struggling to make ends meet is theoretically eligible to receive the grant.

If you have savings or funds to fall back on, it is unlikely that you will be deemed eligible to receive any of the Household Support Fund.

How do I apply for the Household Support Fund?

You will need to prove that you are in need of the grant to receive it, based on your ability to financially provide basic necessities. In addition to this, some councils are only giving the funds to people who have previously claimed benefits or Universal Credit – it’s a good idea to check with your local council to see how they will be using the money. If you don’t know what your local council is, you can find out by using GOV.UK.

Proof that you are in need of the grant will include evidence of expenses or earnings, as well as your address and proof that you live there (or have a tenancy at the provided address).

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You will also be asked to provide your National Insurance number in order to apply, including the National Insurance numbers of anyone you live with, so make sure you have them on hand. If your application to receive the grant is declined, you will have seven days to appeal the decision.