Summer cost of living payments available - but households told they will have to be quick

A general view of a high street
Cost of living support is available for the worst off this summer. -Credit:Rob Browne

Support payments to help with the cost of living will be available in many parts of the UK this summer. Households who are struggling for money will be able to apply for help from their local council through the Household Support Fund (HSF).

While blanket cost of living payments from the Government have now come to an end, the HSF is a way people suffering financial hardship can still get help. They will be able to make applications to their council this summer after the HSF was extended to September and another round of funding confirmed.

Local authorities will then decide if applicants meet the criteria for support. In many cases, successful applicants will need to be claiming some form of means-tested benefits but this is not always necessarily the case.

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The emergency funds are operated by individual councils in different ways. Some offer cash grants as well as other targeted support like food vouchers, council tax discounts and help with household essentials.

Local authorities have already warned that demand for support is likely to be high, particularly in areas like the West Midlands where rates of poverty and inequality are high. And that means the money could run out fast.

Councils are beginning to announce details of their funds. People can find out what is available where they live by searching for the name of their local council and 'Household Support Fund'.

Dudley Council has warned that there will only be "limited money available" due to the anticipated high demand for support when the application process opens. In an update to residents, they said: "There will be another application process available, please keep checking this page for updates.

"There is a limited amount of money available for this scheme and we often experience a high volume of applications."