Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Thousands of households can apply for £160 free cash directly into their bank accounts this month, as part of the latest round of the Household Support Fund, worth £842million.
The offer was originally due to end in March this year but has now been extended until April 2024, which means households can get even more support.
Grants available do vary by location, so check to see what you can get and how your council will pay you.
You’ll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help: for example, thousands of people living in Cornwall can get £160 in support. Those who apply will get two payments of £80 directly into their bank accounts, with the first payment between May and June and the second between October and November.
Those who qualify include:
Households do not need to apply – the money will be sent to you automatically. If you think you qualify but don’t receive the cash, it’s worth chasing Cornwall Council to see if you’re able to get it.
Many other councils across the UK, not just Cornwall, are offering financial support via the HSF. Some are handing out vouchers, while others are making bank transfers to eligible residents. The amount you are entitled to will vary depending on the area you live in: e.g. residents living in Brent could get up to £1,000 in support towards food and council tax bills.
You can find out what council area you fall under by using the GOV.UK checker. Do bear in mind that lots of councils haven’t opened the application process yet for the next round of funding.
If you live in Cornwall and don’t meet the criteria for the Household Support Fund, there is other help on offer. Millions of households are in line for cost of living payments worth up to £1,350. The first instalment of the £900 payment is being made to millions on certain benefits, including Universal Credit and Pension Credit, as of 25th April.
Meanwhile, a £150 payment and between £150-£300 payment will be made to millions with disabilities and pensioners.
You may be entitled to the £150 disability cost of living payment if you receive any of the following benefits:
If you are eligible for the payment, it will be made this summer.
Meanwhile, pensioners who are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/24 will get an extra £150 or £300 paid on top of their normal payment from November this year. You will be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment this winter if you were born before September 25, 1957. Those eligible for the payment will receive a letter in October and November telling them how much money to expect.
You should check if you are entitled to any benefits that qualify you for the cost of living payments.
Some charities have benefits calculators that will give you a rough estimate of what you could claim:
Get weekly ideas, deals & freebies
New data capture form 2023. This is for the popup form to avoid duplicate IDs.
"*" indicates required fields