Thousands of households set to get free £200 vouchers to help with energy bills – but you'll have to be quick | The Sun

THOUSANDS of households can claim free £200 vouchers to help with energy bills – but you'll have to be quick.

The cash support comes through the Household Support Fund worth £421million.

The scheme was launched last year to help hard-up households with the spiralling cost of living.

It was extended in the March budget and for a third time in November – and the latest pot of funding must be dished out before the end of March.

Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.

The vouchers or grants on offer vary by location so you'll have to check to see what you can get and how your council will pay you.

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You'll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help.

For example, Bromley Council is offering energy bill vouchers worth £200 to households strapped for cash.

It has already written to residents who qualify for the bill boost.

This includes those who have a household income of less than £18,525 and savings of less than £1,000.

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The help is not automatic – you have to apply.

You will have received a letter or email containing a reference number, which you must remember to include in your application.

You must also provide proof of your income – such as a bank statement or payslip, and a gas and electricity bill dated within the last three months.

If you're struggling to fill out the application yourself, you can get a local organisation or professional to help you, such as a school, foodbank, or a charity or community group.

If you qualify, further information about how to redeem the voucher will be sent.

You'll have to be quick – Bromley Council said it will close the scheme prior to its deadline at the end of March if all funds are given out.

What if I don't live in Bromley?

Your local council will likely have its own version of the scheme going and you should get in contact with them to find out more.

But be quick – while the deadline for councils to hand out the latest tranche of HSF cash support is March 31, 2023, it's done on a first-come-first-serve basis.

For example, thousands of residents in Plymouth are due electronic vouchers to help pay for food and other essentials at supermarkets.

And eligible households can get up to £180 in free supermarket vouchers depending on their circumstances.

Thousands of residents in North Yorkshire are also due electronic supermarket vouchers worth up to £325.

Plus, residents in the London Borough of Haringey can get up to £500 in free cash to help with bills.

What other support is available?

As part of the Autumn Statement, it was revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900.

Eight million households currently get cost-of-living payments worth up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.

Pensioners have also started getting a £300 one-off payment.

The current pensioner cost of living payment is being handed out to millions on a low income.

You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the winter fuel payment, but this could change under the new rules.

The £300 cost of living payment is paid on top of the other winter support.

You'll need to be:

  • born on or before 25 September 1956
  • have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the "qualifying week"

Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.

The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.

Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.

You can read more about who's eligible here.

There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling:

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  • British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
  • Octopus Energy Assist Fund
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund

There's also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment meter.

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