Household Support Fund
We are facing exceptional demand against the limited budget. Unfortunately not all applications will be successful. The funds for utilities have been exhausted.
Cheshire East Council with the help of a wide range of local partners, are distributing vouchers worth £2.2 million on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) from October 2022 to March 2023, to support the most vulnerable households across the county. We have also received the great news that the DWP has extended this support from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
Since October 2022, with the help of schools, colleges, early years settings and other family support services, we have provided the following support:
- Over 47,000 vouchers in total have been provided to support the most vulnerable households across the county
- Over 38,500 food vouchers have been provided
- Over 9,100 utilities vouchers have been provided
- Over 350 people were supported through wider cost of living support
- Over 2,600 people were supported through the enquiry form
Further vouchers are also being sent in February 2023 for £20.00 to the children and family priority groups.
This support, together with the remaining planned support, means that Cheshire East Council will have spent all of the funding provided for this scheme during the allocation time-frame October 2022 to March 2023.
Planning for the next Household Support Fund scheme is underway and further updates will be made when available.
What help is available
- Food vouchers
- Help with boiler repair or replacements for home owners
- Help with housing costs for those in rented accommodation
Who is eligible for the scheme
The Household Support Fund is available to support children, adults, and families.
Children and Families
Children and families will qualify for the Household Support Fund if they:
- are in receipt of income related free school meals
- are in receipt of early years pupil premium and two-year funding
- are care leavers up to age 25
- are not in education, employment or training aged 16-18
- are young carers for their parents/carers
In addition, young people and their families can also be identified by the council or a trusted professional working with families, including those who:
- are known to children’s social care and early help services
- are known to domestic abuse services
- are foster carers
- are vulnerable due to financial hardship and can be referred by a partner agency (e.g. Education/School professional, Support Worker, Family Support Worker, Citizen Advice, Health Professional, Registered Housing Provider, Domestic Abuse Services)
Adults of any age without children who are on a low income and experiencing financial difficulty can apply.
Pensioners currently in receipt of Council Tax Support will automatically be issued a £100 utility voucher in January 2023. Pensioners will receive a letter from the Post Office with a reference barcode included within it. This letter/reference barcode then needs to be taken to a Post Office to claim the £100.00.
How to apply
The form can be completed by you or any trusted professional who is supporting you as part of their role.
We are facing exceptional demand against the limited budget. Unfortunately not all applications will be successful.
Household Support Fund privacy notice
What happens after you have applied
- You will receive an email confirming your application has been made
- You are asked to allow one month for it to be processed before contacting us due to high demand
- You will receive an email with our decision
- If successful the email will include any vouchers you are awarded
Other sources of support
- For emergency support, please contact the Emergency Duty Team via 0300 123 5022.
- If you think that you are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) but have not applied, go to www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fsm and complete the form or phone 0300 123 5012. If you are entitled to FSM, you will start to receive these vouchers.
- For other emergency support you can apply for our Emergency AssistanCE scheme
- To apply for help with Housing Costs if you live in rented accommodation you can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.
- For additional emergency support with food, please ask for a referral to your local food banks.
- A list of support available nationally and locally for residents of Cheshire East is available to support you with the increased cost of living.
- Children and young people in receipt of benefit-related free school meals can access a range of free activity clubs during the winter, Easter and summer school holidays – please visit the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) - Live Well Cheshire East directory page for further information.
Page last reviewed: 19 January 2023
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