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Rishi Sunak announced an increase in the Household Support Fund in the Spring Statement. Who will this fund help, how to apply, and how will it help ease the financial burden low-income households face?

With the UK facing a rise in living costs, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under immense pressure to help those whose finances are being hit the most.

In his Spring 2022 Statement, the Chancellor set out that he is increasing the Household Support Fund to £1 billion.

What is the Household Support Fund?

The Household Support Fund was revealed in October 2021 to provide £500 million to help support families who needed a well-needed cash injection to deal with the rising living costs.

The fund was meant to end this month, but the Chancellor announced yesterday that he is extending it by providing an extra £500 million of targeted support to the households that need it the most.

Who distributes the Household Support Fund to households?

Local authorities distribute the Household Support Fund to households they feel will most benefit from it. This is entirely up to the local council’s discretion; however, not everyone can get the support fund.

What changes has the Chancellor made to the Household Support Fund in the Spring Statement?

The Household Support Fund will receive an extra £500 million to help with the increase in living costs.

Rishi Sunak announced in his Spring Statement that the scheme had been extended.

‘I want to do more to help our most vulnerable households with rising costs,’ he said.

‘They need targeted support. So, I am also doubling the Household Support Fund to £1billion.’

This will bring the total funding to £1 billion so that the most vulnerable household can get help with the cost of essentials such as food, clothing, and energy bills.

Find out ways in which the government can help ease the rise in energy bills.

Who meets the criteria to get the Household Support Fund?

The eligibility criteria vary from one local authority to another. The application may differ slightly, but how the fund will be distributed is a breakdown.

  • 50% of it is reserved for households with children
  • £421 million is has been reserved for the most vulnerable groups in England
  • £80 million has been allocated to devolved administrations

In addition to this, in some cases, you can be 16 or over to apply and for other local councils, you must be over the age of 18.

How does the Household Support Fund help?

Generally, you may be able to get free cash and vouchers to help cover the costs of heating your home and your food shopping bill.

With the rise in energy prices to hit UK households this April and petrol prices at an all-time high, this extra cash is to help support the most vulnerable families and groups.

Some local councils offer up to £200 vouchers to spend on supermarkets and shops such as Aldi, Asda, Argos and Currys. Other local authorities offer £120 coupons to pay off prepayment meter energy bills.

Find out how you can reduce your monthly food budget.

How to apply for the Household Support Fund?

You will need to contact your local authority website directly for details on how to apply for your Household Support Fund.

It is unknown when the scheme will close; however, since October 2021, local councils have been able to put an infrastructure in place to allow the funds to be distributed accordingly.

To find your local council, use the gov.uk council finder tool. Once you know which one is your local authority, get onto their website and find out more information on how to apply.

If you are having trouble locating the information on their website, call them to ask for more information.

Will the Household Support Fund help UK households?

Although the fund does provide a cash booster to eligible UK households, the government have been condemned for thinking too short term.

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis has criticised the government for increasing the Household Support Fund.

On Twitter, Martin Lewis said that the decision to double the support fund ‘won’t impact the majority of household who will see a likely £1,300 average increase in year-on-year bills by October’.

The chief executive of Resolution Foundation believes that the ‘discretionary fund handed by councils’, is a ‘total disaster if it is really for support for low and middle incomes’ as it is, ‘designed for one-off unexpected costs, so this measure is grossly insufficient when families are facing soaring costs every day.’

Instead, financial experts believe that the government could best support low-income households by increasing their benefits to align themselves with the increase in living costs.

Do you think your family will benefit from the Household Support Fund, or are you already struggling with money and debt? There is support and help available to tackle your debt problems. Read our debt help section to find out more.

If you have debts of over £5,000, and you're struggling to repay them, get in touch today!

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