DWP Household Support Fund to provide five types of cash support from your council

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his spring statement that the DWP’s Household Support Fund was being extended to help struggling households – many of whom survive only on state benefits – cope with the soaring cost of life. The fund is to be distributed through local councils across England for distribution to the needy.

When the first fund was announced, nearly £500m went to England and of that, Birmingham City Council received £12.8m. He gave the Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) £4 million to provide grants to all age groups and households through existing welfare channels.

This allowed financial payments of around £100 per household with a maximum payment of £200, reaching between 17,500 and 35,000 households across the city. Adult Social Care received £850,000, which included emergency fuel payments.

Read more: 900,000 people face pay cuts under DWP benefits change – check if that includes you

And now half a billion more books are being made available. The fund was due to end in April but is being extended for another six months. The extension will run until the end of September 2022, in direct continuity with the previous funding.

Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “We have always provided help to those who need it and the extension of this fund is another commitment to support people facing the cost of life. We know the pressures many are currently facing, especially retirees and families with children, which is why this fund targets support for the most vulnerable households across the country. »

A third of the funding will be earmarked to support families with children, while another third will be earmarked for retirees. Local authorities will determine how best to use the remainder of the fund within the framework set by ministers, the government said.

Birmingham City Council outlined the types of help generally available through funding and said it was awaiting the final amount of money. The DWP has previously published guidance for council and other local authorities on the categories of support grants they can offer and we have listed them below to give an idea of ​​the help that might be available.

1. Food

The fund can provide food support, whether in kind or through vouchers or cash.

2. Energy bills and water bills

Cash from the Household Support Fund can also be used to help pay energy bills for any form of fuel used for heating, cooking or household lighting, including fuel oil or portable gas cylinders. It can also be used to pay water bills including drinking, laundry, cooking, sanitary and sewage.

3. Energy and water essentials

The fund can be used to provide aid for energy and water related basic necessities, including sanitary products, warm clothes, soap, blankets, maintenance/repair of the boiler and the purchase of equipment such as refrigerators, freezers and ovens.

4. Other household essentials

The fund can also be used to meet broader essential needs not related to energy and water if the authorities deem it appropriate in their region. These may include (but are not limited to) paying for other bills including broadband or phone bills, clothing and essential transportation costs such as car repairs, buying a bike or paying for fuel.

5. Housing costs

In exceptional cases of genuine emergency where existing housing assistance schemes do not meet this exceptional need, the fund may be used to support housing costs. Where eligible, continued housing assistance for rent should be provided through the Housing Cost Element of Universal Credit and Housing Benefit (HB) rather than the Household Support Fund .

In addition, eligibility for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) must first be considered before emergency housing assistance is offered through the Household Support Fund. The authority must also first consider whether the applicant is at statutory risk of homelessness and therefore has an obligation to support through the Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG).

Birmingham City Council said it would issue an update when applications reopen for the new funding allocation.

He said: “We are currently awaiting further details from the government on the money available for the spring and the delivery and availability of this funding. We will be keeping this page and our social media channels regularly updated, so please check again to see when applications will reopen for the Spring Household Support Fund allocation.”

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