£200 energy bills payment: who is eligible for Household Support Fund, do you need to apply, when is it paid?
The money, which was created to help people with the cost of living, will be paid to thousands of people across the country
Thousands of people are due to receive a £200 boost to help them cope with the cost of living crisis in July 2022.
But, just who will get the money and how and when will it be paid?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Household Support Fund?
The household support fund was created to help people pay their energy bills, food bills and water bills, which have all been soaring in price over the last few months.
The latest money from the fund is being given out between April and September this year.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in May that another £500 million will be added to the Household Support Fund from October.
The new support will extend the Household Support Fund from the autumn time this year to March 2023.
In total it brings the amount provided through the Household Support Fund to £1.5 billion since its launch in October last year.
For more information, please visit the government website.
Who is eligible for the Household Support Fund?
People who get a council tax reduction, housing benefit or Universal Credit may be eligible for the fund, whether they have children or not.
Pensioners getting a council tax reduction or housing benefit may also qualify.
Eligibility requirements to access the fund could vary by local authority areas, however, so it’s best to check with your local council for more details.
You can find your local council by using the government’s council finder tool.
Further information should then be available on your local council’s website, or you can phone them for more details.
When will the Household Support Fund be paid to people?
Payments are being made shortly to some people who have already been given help through the Household Support Fund.
The money is being given out by local authorities in the form of cash, supermarket vouchers and one-off payments - depending on where in the UK you live.
Each council is giving out money from the fund in different ways, including the amount and who’s eligible.
You can check what your local council’s position is by using the government’s council finder tool.
Councils are expected to contact people who are eligible for the payment directly.
In Doncaster, South Yorkshire, the council is giving out automatic payments to those who previously got help from the fund.
The £200 will be paid into bank accounts by Friday 8 July, Doncaster Council has said.
People living in Warwickshire County Council’s district are also getting payments automatically.
Reading Council is giving its local pensioners energy vouchers worth £98, as well as vouchers worth £49 for families in the area to help cover similar costs.
Residents who don’t automatically get the money can still apply for the payment if they are struggling financially.
What can I do if I need more financial help?
If you need more financial help, regardless of whether or not you have received support through the Household Support Fund, there are a number of organisations that you can contact for free advice.
You can also speak to your utility providers as some have schemes in place to help with bills and arrears, including hardship funds and grants.
You should check that you’re getting all the benefits you may be entitled to. Use the government’s online benefits calculator to make sure you’re not missing out on any extra money you could be getting.
Similarly, you can search for charity grants that help you pay for gas and electricity bills.
There’s more help on the way from the government for every household in the UK too, and some could get up to £1,500 depending on the circumstances.
Every household will get £400 off their energy bill this winter. A payment of £300 will be sent to pensioners and £150 extra will be given to those with certain disabilities, plus those on Universal Credit and certain benefits will get a £650 one-off payment too.