DWP explains who's eligible for new £550 summer payment in bank account

The Department for Work and Pensions has fleshed out who is eligible and meets the criteria for £550 Household Support Fund payouts. Funding is aimed at anyone who’s vulnerable or cannot pay for essentials, the DWP has confirmed.

You do not have to be getting benefits to get help from your local council. Councils and local authorities decide how to run their schemess o there may be differences in criteria, if or how you need to apply or who money is given to.

If you get benefits, they will not be affected if you get a payment from a Household Support Fund scheme. The fund - which was extended by the Conservative Party - offers energy and water bills, food and also essential items.

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Your council may also offer food vouchers to families during the school holidays. Energy support may include support with energy bills for any form of fuel that is used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking, or lighting, including oil or portable gas cylinders. It can also be used to support water bills including for drinking, washing, cooking, as well as for sanitary purposes and sewerage.

On food, the DWP adds: "We encourage Authorities to consider supporting households on low incomes to repair or replace white goods and appliances with more energy efficient ones, or to invest in simple energy efficiency measures which will pay back quickly, such as insulating a hot water tank, fitting draft excluders to a front door, or replacing energy inefficient lightbulbs or white goods.

"The intention of this is to provide sustainable support which results in immediate and potentially long-lasting savings for the household." The fund can also be used to support with other bills including broadband or phone bills, clothing, period and hygiene products, essential transport-related costs such as repairing a car, buying a bicycle, or paying for fuel.

"Individual awards can be whatever type and amount is deemed appropriate by Authorities for the receiving household," it says.