HSF Grant Online Application Explained and Who Can Get It
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a number of support measures to help tackle the cost of living crisis during last week’s spring statement.
The nation is being pressured by soaring inflation and an increased energy price cap, which will come into effect in April.
In response, the Chancellor confirmed a council tax refund and an energy bill loan, and also increased the Household Support Fund by £500m.
Here’s what you need to know about the fund and how to apply.
What is the Household Support Fund?
The Household Support Fund is a measure that provides households with payments to help them with essentials such as food, utilities and clothing.
It was first introduced in September 2021 and was meant to last until March 31, 2022, before being extended.
Half of the fund is reserved for households with children.
It is distributed by local councils.
How to apply online?
You must apply for the fund directly from your local council. You can find your council’s page by entering your postcode on the government website.
Eligibility varies by council and tends to be assessed based on your financial ability to meet basic needs.
You must be over 16 or over 18 to apply, depending on your council’s rules.
Some councils also require you to have applied for National Benefits first, and most will reject your application if you have savings.
You will need your national insurance number to apply, as well as details of your household composition, income and expenses.
Councils will also ask households to provide evidence of why they need this support.
If your request is rejected, you will have seven days to appeal.
Why did Rishi Sunak boost the fund?
When he initially announced the fund last year, the Chancellor said: ‘Our new household support fund will provide a lifeline for people who may struggle to meet their bills over the winter, adding to the support the government already provides to help people with the cost of living.
Last week he said the fund would be doubled “to help the most vulnerable households in the face of rising costs”.
Local authorities will receive the extra funding from April, and Mr Sunak said the extra support means the government is ‘providing support worth over £22billion in 2022-23’.
However, money-saving expert Martin Lewis said the increase in the Household Support Fund would not affect the majority of low-income households.
“If that’s all it does on energy, it’s limited and won’t impact the majority of households who are likely to see an average £1,300 rise in bills by October,” did he declare.