THOUSANDS of families struggling for cash could get up to £140 worth of supermarket vouchers before Christmas.
Hard-up households can apply for help with food, energy bills, clothing and more under the government’s £500million Household Support Fund.
The scheme replaced the Covid local support grant where families could get up to £1,500 to pay for food, bills and more, a Sun investigation found.
It will also help to plug the £20 a week drop in Universal Credit payments, after the government slashed this uplift in October, while households battle against a cost of living crisis.
The funds were dished out to local councils in October for each authority to give the help to those most in need.
The Sun has seen that families can get free cash, vouchers and more to help them get by during one of the most expensive times of the year.
For example, you can get food vouchers to spend at supermarkets worth up to £140 for a family of four if you live in Leicestershire.
Families struggling to get food on the table can get £40 worth of food vouchers per adult, with £30 per child.
That means for a family of four, you could get £140 worth of vouchers to spend at shops including Aldi, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda.
Households with more than one adult living in the region can get £40 per person, and those living alone can get £50.
To get the help, you will need to be referred by a support worker, school, charity, food bank or NHS professional to Leicestershire County Council.
If you don’t live in Leicestershire, you will need to find out from your local council what support they are offering under the Household Support Fund.
To find your local council, visit the gov.uk‘s website and use it’s authority finder tool.
Exactly what help is available will vary depending on who your local council is.
This is because each council will decide what – and how much – they will give to those in need.
However, The Sun spotted that some councils were offering up to £120 in vouchers towards energy bills.
That will come as good news for those eligible Brits who are being slammed with eye-watering hikes to bills as the energy crisis continues.
While others were offering £100 in free cash to families, and up to £60 of vouchers for children’s clothing.
Each council will have its own application process for the help – you should visit your local council’s website or ring them up for more information.
How else can I get help with bills?
If you’re not eligible for the Household Support Fund, there are still ways you can get help in time for Christmas.
Those who are struggling to pay their energy bills will want to see if they are eligible for the warm home discount, which gives you up to £140 towards your bills.
There’s also cold weather payments you can get to help cover the cost of heating when temperatures drop – you’ll get £25 for every seven day period where the weather is below 0C.
There’s also the welfare assistance scheme you can apply to for help from your local council.
A Sun investigation found that you could get up to £1,000 in help paying for food, furniture and bills.
But it’s also a postcode lottery – some councils are offering more help than others, while some don’t even have a scheme in place.
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