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HOUSEHOLDS can get up to £650 in free cash this spring from a £3.4million pot.
The help is being offered through the Household Support Fund (HSF).
After being launched in October 2021, it supports struggling families through the cost of living crisis.
The pot of money has been dished out through the government and then shared through local councils in England.
They then decide how to share out their portion and who to.
In most cases, the cash is offered to households who are on a low income or benefits.
READ MORE ON HOUSHOLD SUPPORT
Thousands of households have just days left to apply for £250 free cash
Thousands of households have just weeks left to get £650 free cash
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council are the latest to offer the cash to residents.
They're giving every household who was on housing benefits or council tax reduction, and was not eligible for the cost of living crisis payment, a lump sum of £650 or £326.
In total, eight million families on means-tested benefits automatically qualified for a £900 cost of living payment.
This is being paid in three instalments across the year.
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You must have been claiming either housing benefits or council tax reduction between April 26, 2022, to May 25, 2022, and August 26, 2022, to September 25, 2022.
Households will not receive the support if they're already receiving one of the following:
- Universal Credit
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credit
This is because a cost of living payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would already have been made.
A letter will be sent out to 400 residents who qualify.
You can then take it to the Post Office to collect the money – which must be done within three months of the date on the letter.
If not collected in time, it will be credited to your council tax account.
There’s no need to apply as payments are made automatically.
Can I get help if I don't live in Sandwell?
Yes you can – but what you are entitled to will vary depending on where you live.
That's because not all councils have been given the same share of the HSF fund.
Who is eligible isn't always the same in each area either, but usually help is given to those that need it most.
The money sometimes comes in the form of vouchers and other times as free cash direct into bank accounts.
The best thing to do is check out your local council's website for further details and how to apply.
If you don't know what council area you fall under, you can use the government's council locator tool.
You just have to type in your postcode and it will tell you your local authority.
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Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council is offering families £650 free cash to help with bills.
Whereas Hastings Borough Council is offering eligible households £250.
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