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Household Support Fund

The Open Access Household Support Fund closed - Friday 7th June 2024.

After allocating another £900,000 to support households across the Borough, Sefton Council has today closed the Open Access Household Support Fund scheme to new applications.

Since re-opening the scheme in April, the Council has received and dealt with over 5,400 applications to the fund.

With around £108,000 left and with more than 440 applications still to process, the decision has been taken to close the scheme to new requests.

The Open Access Household Support Fund provides financial help to Sefton residents who are on a low income and struggling to afford energy, food and water bills.

If you receive an award under this scheme, you will not be required to pay it back and it will not be treated as income for tax or benefit purposes.

Awards, up to 30th September 2024, are limited to a single award per household within a 3 month period. Multiple claims will be rejected.

The grant is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. You can find Cost of Living support on GOV.UK

Applying

To apply households need to show they need immediate financial help towards energy, food, and essential household bills.

This means showing they are on a low-income and are struggling to pay their bills.

To qualify, households need to show they:

  • are a Sefton resident;

  • have not received support towards utility bills (gas, electricity and water) in the last 6 months from the Council’s Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS);

  • you must be responsible for utility bills either solely or jointly.

and at least one the following:

    • earnings below £30,000 a year in respect of couples with or without children and £22,000 a year in respect of single people; 

    • receipt of Universal Credit and earnings below £10,000;

    • a resident in the household is in receipt of either Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or is a Care Leaver.

or:

  • have been ineligible for other government support with the cost-of-living crisis (i.e. the cost of living payments for people on certain means-tested benefits) or if you have received government support, can demonstrate that further support is needed.

Applications will be cross-checked to other services including where applicable to data held by the Department for Work and Pensions.

You can use this form to apply.

Announcing the extension of the scheme, the chancellor said that £421 million of funding would be made available nationally, through Unitary Authorities like Sefton and County Councils in England.

Payments

If you are awarded a Household Support Fund payment based on your application, then you will notification within 10-14 days of your claim from Sefton Council.

The payment will be paid to you via the Post Office Pay-out scheme, when you receive your award letter, you will then need to attend the Post Office to collect your cash payment.

To collect your Household Support Fund payment please take the letter to any Post Office, together with TWO of the following items as proof of your identity:

  • Passport or driving licence

  • Current utility or household bill

  • Council Tax Bill

  • Signed Post Office/Bank card

  • Bank Statement

  • DWP or Housing Benefit award Letter

  • Bus Pass or other photo ID card

The Post Office will issue the payment to you in cash. The name and address on the proof of identity must be the same as that shown on the letter. Please ensure that you take your identity details with you, otherwise you may not be able to collect your payment.

Please note: You must take this letter to the Post Office within 1 month of the date of issue, after which time this payment will no longer be valid.

Fraudulent applications

Anyone who attempts to claim a payment under this scheme by falsely declaring their circumstances or providing a false statement or evidence may have committed an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Sefton Council may investigate all allegations of fraud and may take criminal proceedings or apply other sanctions in appropriate circumstances.

If a resident receives a payment to which they are not entitled, they will be required to repay it.

Advice

Sefton Council is focused on ensuring that the help reaches those most in need and will be in touch with residents who may be in vulnerable groups with advice about what help may be available.   

For more information and advice about what other ways the Council may be able to help please look at www.Sefton.gov.uk/SeftonSupportHub.


Last Updated on Friday, June 7, 2024

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