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Household Support Fund

Person in house self isolating with isolation payment

Funded by UK Government logo

The Household Support Fund is a cash limited discretionary fund provided by the Department for Works and Pensions.

About the Household Support Fund Application Process

Applications for the Household Support Fund have now closed.

Any applications received up to 27 March 2024 will be contacted in due course. Please do not contact us to chase up your application as we are currently inundated dealing with the backlog.

The Household Support Fund is to assist residents who are most in need due to the significant rise in the cost of living.

Applicants must live in the Preston area, and it is intended to help, as a short-term solution, residents who do not have enough resources to meet immediate short-term needs and require assistance with essential items over the coming months.

It can help with:

  • Energy and Water
  • Food
  • Essentials linked to energy and water
  • Wider essentials linked to the Cost-of-Living increases.

The scheme is not intended to cover debt advice or general financial hardship support which is not linked to energy, water or food.

Awards will be made where there is no alternative means of meeting the need.

The fund may assist with housing costs if all other avenues of support have been exhausted for example Discretionary Housing Payments.

Payments will be made on a first come first served basis. All applications will therefore be processed strictly in order of date received and only if all requested supporting documentation is complete.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scheme you must be:

  • A resident of the Preston area - please visit GOV.UK - to find your local council
  • Experiencing financial hardship and not have enough resources to meet your immediate short-term needs.

Emergency fuel voucher support

If someone in your household requires emergency fuel support, whilst you wait for your application to be processed please contact Citizens Advice on the following details:

  • Contact number - 07985192280 -  you will need to leave a voicemail message which includes your name, contact number and type of energy support you require. 
  • Contact email address - energysupport@prestoncitizensadvice.org.uk - send an email which includes your name, contact number and type of energy support you require. 

Citizens Advice will contact you directly, during office hours which are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.15am - 3.15pm. If your email or call arrives outside these times it will be dealt with on the next working day.

Support available

The scheme can help with short term living costs such as food, gas electric, water, household bills and clothing (this is not an exhaustive list). Please also visit GOV.UK - Cost of living support page to find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel.

The scheme will also sign post you to other sources of advice and support to ensure that you get all the assistance you may be entitled to including Welfare Benefits and Debt Advice to help address your long term needs, this is before any decisions are made.

Please note, white goods, furniture and flooring can be considered under this scheme, however further investigations may be required and the decision of the council will be final.

Restrictions

The scheme does not cover:

  • Any requests for items that are not essential for example debts incurred by gambling or loans/credit cards, overdrafts, HP etc
  • Applications from those with sufficient income, savings, capital and assets
  • Requests for household items where these are the responsibility of the landlord
  • Rent arrears and/or deposits unless meeting exceptional need
  • Please note you can apply more than once during the duration of this round of funding, however applications will not be accepted within a 3 month period and we will request evidence that the funds awarded previously have been used for the intended purposes.

How to Apply?

Applications for the Household Support Fund have now closed.

Any applications received up to 27 March 2024 will be contacted in due course. Please do not contact us to chase up your application as we are currently inundated dealing with the backlog.

We aim to deal with applications within 20 working days from receipt of all evidence requested. To speed up the process, please provide all requested information at the time of application.

Please note, due to the number of applications currently being received we are unable to respond to emails regarding documents or on the progress of your application.

How long will it take for a decision to be made?

We aim to make a decision within 20 working days of receiving all the required information.

Depending on the level of demand for the scheme, this may not always be possible. During this time please do not submit further application or try to contact the council regarding your application, as this will delay the process of your application and we will unfortunately be unable to acknowledge your further contact.

To speed up the application process please ensure you fully complete the application form and provide all the evidence we ask for.

What information will you need to include?

We will need the following information:

  • Where you live
  • Full household details
  • Your circumstances
  • Your income
  • All applications must be supported with bank statements for all adults in the household and for all accounts held - these must be for one full month - showing transactions in and out of the account and must be dated within the last 2 months. Screenshots showing the bank account details only will not be accepted but pictures of bank statements may be submitted.
  • If you do not provide complete bank statements your application will not be considered
  • If you pay your energy bill by direct debit we will require a copy of the front and back page of your most recent bill showing:
    • balance owed
    • account number
    • confirmation of what type of meter you have installed.
  • If you have arrears on your energy bills we will require a copy of the bill showing the arrears, payments you have made towards these arrears and payment details for your supplier
  • Evidence of any gambling on bank statements provided will be investigated further as awards may not be made where there is evidence of gambling.
  • What support you need and why the support is required - please give a full explanation of your circumstances giving a full in depth explanation, it is not adequate to simply put "increase in household bills".

If we do not provide this information your application will not be considered and incomplete applications will be rejected.

Can I appeal a decision if my application is unsuccessful? 

As this is a discretionary scheme there is no right of appeal. However, if you think we have overlooked important information then you can ask for us to look at the application again by emailing household@preston.gov.uk providing reasons along with your name, address and reference number.

This decision will be final.

Your privacy

The information that you provide will be processed in accordance with the (GDPR) and data protection law for the purpose of provision and management of the Household Support Fund. Your data maybe shared with Gift 92 to assist with the purpose of your grant application and Preston City Council for the purposes of checking your eligibility for any further discounts or exemptions on your council tax.   

Your personal information, where provided, will be processed under Article 6,1 (e) of the GDPR - processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

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