Household Support Fund

Household Support Fund vouchers - important advice/updates

  • The utility vouchers are available and being issued – if you have been told a utility voucher has been awarded but you have not received it yet, please email HSFAdults@cheshireeast.gov.uk.
  • If you are a pensioner, letters from Cheshire East Council regarding the Household Support Fund will be sent out shortly. Please be advised that this is a legitimate letter. When you receive your letter, please go to your nearest post office to cash your voucher.

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), to support the most vulnerable households across the county with food, utilities, and other essentials over the spring and summer period. We are still in the process of issuing summer vouchers.

The £2.2 million pounds that Cheshire East Council is helping to distribute, is our share of the government’s £500 million Household Support Fund which will run from 23 March 2022 until the 30 September 2022. The fund is available to support both adults (without dependent children), pensioners and families with children and will be made available to vulnerable households who need additional financial support.

The children and adults/pensioners offer went live from the 23 May 2022, with support available for food and utilities available via the online inquiry form.

While the current funding runs until 30 September 2022, we have had notification from the DWP that this scheme will be extended.  Once we have further information about this extension, we will make this information available. 

Who is eligible for the scheme

The Household Support Fund is available to support children, adults, and families.

Children and Families

Over 10,000 children and young people have already been identified by the council to receive vouchers for the May and summer holidays.

  • 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
  • are known to domestic abuse services

These families will receive their vouchers via schools, colleges, early years settings and by a host of support services.

More children, young people and their families have also been identified by the council who qualify for these vouchers, including those who:

  • are known to children’s social care and early help services
  • are parents/carers who are experiencing financial hardship due to being unable to work as their children are self-isolating
  • are vulnerable due to financial hardship and can be referred by a partner agency (e.g., GP, Teacher, Support Worker)

Vulnerable Adults

Referrals are invited from trusted practitioners/professionals supporting vulnerable adults and couples without children in Cheshire East, who are in situations of ‘genuine need’. For example, fleeing domestic abuse or identified as financially vulnerable. Referrers must detail the individuals’ circumstances in line with grant eligibility.

Pensioners

Payments are being made via post office cash vouchers to pensioners currently in receipt of council tax support and will be available for spending on food and utilities or other essentials. Due to the availability of wider support packages council tax energy rebate, the bulk payment to pensioners will be going out shortly.

 

Outside of this period pensioners can apply for the grant, but this application must be referred via our online inquiry form and by a trusted professional/practitioner. Trusted practitioners must identify the individuals as ‘financially vulnerable’ and be able to evidence their needs in the inquiry form.

How the scheme works

Referrals for vulnerable adults and families are completed by a trusted practitioner/professional via a link they have been emailed.

 

  • Children who have been identified as meeting the criteria will receive their vouchers for school holidays via schools, colleges, early years settings and other support services.
  • The food vouchers are sent via email from Cheshire East.
  • Utilities vouchers are provided by our partner the Post Office.
  • Referrers should obtain adult/parent/carers National Insurance number and the young person's liquid logic ID number (if they have an open early help or social care case). This will support the Household Support Fund to provide the white goods more quickly.
  • You are asked to allow 10 working days for an application to be processed.
  • Each inquiry form represents one claim.
  • Multiple claims can be made if the trusted practitioner or professional has identified a need. An inquiry form must be completed for each claim. More information in support of a subsequent request may be required.

Contact information

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 but have not applied, go to  www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fsm and complete the form or phone 03001235012. 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
  • 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: 22 September 2022