Household Support FundHousehold Support Fund application
The Government, through the Department for Work and Pensions, has made a further £842 million available throughout England for the Household Support Fund. This additional funding is for the period 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024 only.
Hastings Borough Council has received a share of this funding from East Sussex County Council to support local households who are finding it difficult to pay for the cost of food, energy and water.
There is a limited amount of funding available, and this will be distributed on a first come first served basis. The fund will close on 31 March 2024 or when the funds are spent, whichever comes first.
The eligibility criteria are the same as for the previous version of the scheme, and there remains a strong focus on helping households that will not benefit from other Government schemes such as Cost of Living payments.
Cost of Living payments (worth up to £900 or more in 2023/24) are typically being paid to households that receive the following means tested benefits:
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income Based Job-Seekers Allowance and
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance.
People who qualify only for a Disability Cost of Living Payment worth £150 will still be eligible for a payment from the Household Support Fund.
To assist the county council in meeting the scheme objectives, we are targeting the funding to only those households that are unlikely to qualify for a Government Cost of Living payment from either the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenues and Customs during 2023/24.
Over the coming weeks we will write to all households we believe will meet the current scheme criteria. Applicants who received an award in respect of the period 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023 will not be required to make a new application, instead an automatic payment will be made using the bank account details already held (but only where eligibility criteria continues to be met). All other households that we believe will be eligible will be written to and invited to apply - the letters will include a unique one-time use Passcode that will enable an application to be made.
Applicants must have been over the age of 18, have recourse to public funds, be resident in the Hastings Borough area and be finding it difficult to pay for food, energy or water.
Additionally, applicants must receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction BUT NOT be receiving any of the following benefits:
- Pension Credits
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
- Income Support
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance.
Support will be provided for the following -
- Energy bills for any form of fuel used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking, or lighting, including oil or portable gas cylinders
- Water bills including for drinking, washing, cooking, as well as for sanitary purposes and sewerage
There will be one award of £200 per eligible household during the first six months of the scheme, paid directly to the applicant's bank account.
Only one application per household is allowed during the first six months of the scheme, from 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023 inclusive. Any further application made by a household during this period will not be considered. If a household moves to another authority, they can claim again subject to eligibility in that area.
Where the council's own verification procedures are not successful or inconclusive it may be necessary for us to request additional information or evidence to be supplied before any payment is made, for example - a bank statement or utility bill.
If you have not received a letter
If you believe you are eligible to apply to the scheme but have not received a letter from us by 30 June, please contact us. Where possible please email email@example.com. The email should include your full name, address and contact details. So that your email is dealt with as a priority please include the letters HSF in the subject field. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone by calling 01424 451080.
To make an application
Please note that you will require the scheme Passcode that was issued to you in the letter that we recently sent. During the online application process you can use Quick Code 478BT3 to quickly find the Household Support Fund scheme.
If you need help making an application
If you need help applying for the Household Support Fund or help accessing services online you can visit the Community Info Hub at the Town Hall, Priory Meadow entrance. The opening hours are Weds - Friday 10am - 4pm.
If you are at risk of homelessness
If you are at risk of losing your home please visit the council's dedicated webpage.
Other help that may be available
Whether or not you are successful in your application, you may be also eligible for support from other sources.
- The government's cost of living hub
- East Sussex County Council offer a range of help and support services
- East Sussex County Council discretionary fund
- Citizens Advice Hastings
- Brighton Housing Trust
- Southern Water support for bills
- Government Help for Households campaign
- Ofcom social broadband and phone
- 02 Databank
- Good Things Foundation national databank
- Pension Credit
Household Support Fund