Households could get £125 direct cost of living payment in weeks over renewed DWP scheme but there's a catch

Person receiving money
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Households across the country can apply for help direct from their councils in a cost of living scheme aiming to help the neediest families. In the latest payout thousands of households will be in line to receive a free £125 direct payment in the next few weeks as Reading’s local council takes some of the first moves to use the renewed Household Support Fund. The scheme provided County Councils and Unitary Authorities throughout England with £421million.

Each local authority has complete control over their portion of the fund, which is dependant on the population in their area and the number of vulnerable households. Authorities can decide who in their constituencies will be eligible, how they can apply and ultimately who to give the money to with charities and community projects in the running alongside individual households.

England residents are encouraged to check with their local council to find out how the fund is being used in their area and if they may be eligible for some support. Most of this information is available on local council’s websites which readers can find through this tool.

Once you've found your council, there should be information on how to apply on its website. Each council will have a different application process - so exact details on how to apply will vary depending on where you live.

The funding was renewed on April 1st and is set to cover up to and including September 30. As part of the scheme, the government has encouraged local authorities to use it to meet the immediate needs of their population, help vulnerable households and those struggling to afford the essentials like energy and water bills.

Two months later and some councils have already put the funding into plans which vary greatly between catchment areas. Residents in Reading set to receive £125 vouchers in July for households that have pupil premium or free school meal children eligible for direct support and care leavers will be receiving the support payments.

Middlesborough is offering families £70 per child which will be distributed automatically to those who met the free school meals eligibility criteria while Blackpool residents experiencing financial hardship can receive between £200 and £300 depending how many people are in the household if they haven’t received a Household Support Fund payment in the last 12 months.

While government guidance has advised that the fund is not limited to helping those on benefits, some councils are opting for a benefits-focused eligibility approach with those living in Falkirk receiving council tax reduction, housing benefit, Universal Credit, income support, jobseekers allowance or pension credit can apply for up to £470 in cash support.