How to claim up to £290 free cash to help you with your bills

Young stressed mother checking her finances while her daughter is playing next to her
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Thousands of families struggling with the cost of living may be missing out on a payment worth up to £290, intended to assist with essential household bills. This support is provided through the government's Household Support Fund, which allocates money to local councils to distribute to residents in need.

The amount each local authority receives varies, based on population size and the number of households deemed vulnerable. However, many households in need are unaware of this financial aid as it often requires an application to their local council.

The grant or voucher value fluctuates depending on location and levels of deprivation. The national scheme was extended for the fifth time in April 2024, with each council establishing its own criteria for determining who will receive help and how much they will get.

Residents typically need to apply directly to their local council to find out what is available from the Household Support Fund and the qualifying rules. For instance, in Doncaster, the council has chosen to use the funding to assist working-age and pensioner households in the city who receive certain benefits. These include Housing Benefit; Local Council Tax Reduction; Universal Credit, which includes the housing element; Means-tested Free School Meals.

Pensioners looking over their finances
The grant or voucher value fluctuates depending on location and levels of deprivation -Credit:Getty

Eligible households receive payments as follows:

  • Single people with no dependent children receive a single payment of £50

  • Couples without dependent children are entitled to a single payment of £70

  • Families with one dependent child can expect £110, split into two payments of £55

  • Households with two dependent children will receive £170 in two instalments of £85

  • Those with three dependent children are eligible for £230, divided into two payments of £115

  • Families with four or more dependent children can receive £290, distributed in two payments of £145.

Pensioners and working-age individuals who didn't benefit from the previous Household Support Fund and meet the above criteria will need to apply online.

What are other councils offering?

In Blackpool, residents could be eligible for up to £300 in support from the Household Support Fund.

Bracknell Forest inhabitants might qualify for a cash grant of £315.

Low-income households in Cambridgeshire can apply for a financial award of £110 per household.

Residents of Falkirk who receive council tax reduction, housing benefit, Universal Credit, income support, jobseekers allowance or pension credit can apply for up to £470 in cash support.

What is the history of the Household Support Fund?

The fund was initially launched in October 2021 to assist those grappling with the cost of living crisis and escalating energy and food bills. Councils across the country received a portion of the £500million funding available. It has since been extended through to 2024 in successive Budgets.