HARD-UP families are being given supermarket vouchers worth up to £150 to help with rising costs.
Councils have been been given extra cash as part of the Government's Household Support Fund to help people struggling the most with the cost of their utilities and every day essentials.
The scheme was first established last year and extended again in the March budget to help those on the lowest income with the rising cost of living.
The voucher or grants on offer vary by location and you'll have to check to see how your council will pay you.
For example, residents living under the remit of North Yorkshire County Council should have received a letter containing a code to activate an electronic supermarket voucher by today (July 13).
Depending on your circumstances, households could receive a voucher worth up to £150.
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What is the Household Support Fund and how do I apply?
Those eligible will be able to redeem the voucher in nine different supermarkets including Aldi, ASDA, Farm Foods, Iceland, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
The e-vouchers can be used in store, but ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose will also accept the voucher towards online shopping orders.
To find out whether you're eligible for the Household Support Fund, where you are check with your local council.
Will my council pay me in a voucher?
Every council has the authority to decide how best to allocate and distribute the funding – so not every council is issuing vouchers.
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For example, Manchester City Council is instead paying recipients of the fund up to £160 directly into their bank account.
Fylde Council is providing up to £90 to those eligible for the Household Support Fund.
But instead of issuing a redeemable voucher – residents will be sent a letter with a Post Office code to redeem the amount in cash at branch.
Do I have to apply?
In most cases you'll need to apply for the Household Support Fund and each council has the power to set deadlines for its applications.
The eligibility for the scheme will also vary depending on the area you live in.
For example, those receiving Council Tax Support in Manchester are eligible for a payment.
In North Yorkshire, those who claim Council Tax Support and have a child under 19 will be eligible.
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Check with your council to make sure you haven't missed out.
In select cases, those who are eligible may be automatically enrolled in the scheme by their council – in these instances you won't need to do anything and the council should be in touch to arrange how they'll pay you the support.
What other support is available?
Even if you're not eligible for help under the Household Support Fund you may be eligible for cash elsewhere to help with the cost of living.
A number of councils have opened up their applications for a discretionary fund to help those on Universal Credit, Council Tax Support and other means-tested benefits. You could get up to £300.
Millions of pensioners are also set to get an extra £300 later on this year. Those on Universal Credit and benefits will also get a one-off payment of £650 to help with the cost of living.
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