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One-week warning for £100 cash towards energy bills – check if you're eligible

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RESIDENTS have just one week left to apply for a £100 energy voucher aimed to alleviate pressures amid the rising cost of living.

The payment is intended to support vulnerable households – and applications are set to close in a matter of days.

Kent households have just one week to apply for the Household Support Fund

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Kent households have just one week to apply for the Household Support FundCredit: SWNS

The extra help, funded by the government’s Household Support Fund, is being handed out by councils and officially ends on March 31.

But several councils have set deadlines, so it is important you get your application in on time.

Applications for Kent residents are set to close on Thursday, February 29 – or once the available funds have been allocated, whichever comes earlier.

The funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Each eligible household whose application is successful will receive one prepaid card to help cover energy costs.

You may be eligible for assistance if you:

  • Are aged 16 or over
  • Are a Kent resident, permanently living within one of the 12 local authorities covered by Kent County Council (this excludes Medway, Bexley, or Bromley)
  • Have a household income of less than £40,000 per annum before tax, including all benefits and employment income
  • Do not have more than £1000 in savings, not including funds you have identified for the payment of regular bills
  • Do not receive free school meals voucher support from your child’s school over the school holidays, for any child within your household
  • Are responsible for your household energy costs.

If you live in Kent, have a child, and your family is eligible for benefits-related free school meals, you should already have received support – as schools provided a £100 energy voucher per eligible child at the end of November last year.

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Kent also has a Winter Energy Support fund which opened on January 9.

Eligible applicants will receive either a £100 prepaid physical card or virtual card to be put towards paying energy bills.

The scheme follows the same eligibility requirements as the Household Support Fund and residents must also apply before February 29 to be considered.

Household Support Fund

Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need to distribute to vulnerable households.

The voucher or grant amounts vary by location so you will have to check to see what you can get and how your council will pay you.

The fund is often aimed at those who are already on low incomes and claiming help.

What is the Household Support Fund?

THE Household Support Fund is a government-funded cash pot given to councils to support those struggling with essential costs.

Councils up and down the country got a slice of the £842million funding available to dish out to Brits in need.

It was then extended for a second time in the Spring Budget and for a third time in November to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.

The DWP has confirmed a fourth extension of the scheme through to March 31, 2024.

The support available varies but some residents may given free cash or vouchers to pay for essentials like energy bills or grocery bills.

You do not need to be on benefits to be eligible for this fund but it will not affect any benefits you receive.

You should check with your local council to find out what support is available and the eligibility criteria.

But you don’t always need to be on benefits or Universal Credit to be eligible for the cash.

There are also some areas offering the help to households who do not claim support from the government.

The Sun recently put together a list of areas where you can get up to £450 in support.

What other support is available?

If you don’t qualify for the Household Support Fund in your local area you may still be entitled to additional support.

The third instalment of the cost of living support payment started hitting bank accounts earlier this month.

Those eligible will have received a tax-free payment.

Or, you could qualify for a cold weather payment worth £25.

Are you missing out on benefits?

YOU can use a benefits calculator to help you check that you are not missing out on money you are entitled to.

Charity Turn2Us’ benefits calculator works out what you could get.

Entitledto’s free calculator works out whether you qualify for various benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit.

MoneySavingExpert.com and charity StepChange both have benefits tools powered by Entitledto’s data.

You can use Policy in Practice’s calculator to not only find out which benefits you could receive but also to find out how much cash you’ll have leftover each month after paying for housing costs.

Your exact entitlement will only be clear when you make a claim, but calculators can give you an indication of what you might be eligible for.

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