Thousands of households in England can claim up to £500 in free supermarket vouchers to help combat the cost-of-living crisis.

The vouchers are funded through the Household Support Fund, worth more than £420 million, but you will need to apply quickly to get yours.

The fund was set up by the government and will vary between different local councils who can decide how to distribute the cash. The main use for the fund is to help towards food vouchers and energy bills.

Each council gets a different amount of funding depending on its size, population and need, so you will have to check to see what you can get in your council area.

Bracknell News:

You can find your local council on the government website to see what the process is in your area.

How do I apply for the Household Support Fund?

Some households will notified that they can apply for help from the Household Support Fund, while others will be notified that they receive any cash or support automatically.

It will be your local council that will decide if you need to apply for any support.

Households who think they are eligible to apply for support from their council can do so, but will need to act quickly.

The deadline for councils to hand out all of the support provided by the Household Support Fund is March 31, it will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed an extension of the scheme through to March 31, 2024.

DWP Cost of living payments in 2023

More than eight million people will qualify for a new £900 cash boost, available to people in receipt of means-tested benefits including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits.

Those £900 payments will begin in Spring and will be paid in three instalments directly into claimants’ bank accounts through the year.

There will also be a separate £150 payment for more than six million disabled people, and an extra £3000 for eight million pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel payments.

The exact payment dates are yet to be announced by the DWP, but this is when to expect each individual payment over the next year:

  • First cost of living payment - £300 – Spring 2023
  • Disability payment - £150 – Summer 2023
  • Second cost of living payment - £300 – Autumn 2023
  • Pensioner payment - £300 – Winter 2023
  • Third cost of living payment - £299 – Spring 2024