Household Support Fund
Latest update (15 December 2023)
Does your household need extra financial support? If you're finding it difficult to keep warm, buy enough food or pay essential bills, you may be able to get extra help.
East Sussex County Council have produced an easy-read guide to claiming the extra help available for people in East Sussex this winter
How do I qualify for help?
Residents who received an award from the first round of the Household Support Fund 4 scheme do not need to apply and will receive an automatic award from the second round if they are still eligible.
You must live within the council's area, be over the age of 18 and be liable for the council tax, rent or mortgage, have recourse to public funds, and be finding it difficult to pay for heating, lighting, water bills or food. You must also be in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction but not receiving one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credits
- Income Support
- Income Based Job-Seeker's Allowance
- Income Based Employment & Support Allowance
Applicants who are in receipt of one of the above benefits but have the Limited Work Capability included in their Universal Credit assessment or receive a qualifying disability or carer's benefit are able to apply.
Qualifying disability or carer benefits are one of the following:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pensions Mobility Supplement
- Carers Allowance
Or do not qualify for any means tested benefit but have a low household income.
What costs can I get help with?
You can get help with the cost of food and utility bills for any form of fuel that is used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking or lighting, including oil or portable gas cylinders.
- If you are at risk of losing your home please see our homelessness advice and services
How will I receive the financial help?
If you qualify, help with meeting the cost of energy and water bills will be paid direct into your bank account by way of a one-off payment of £200 per household.
What information should I have to hand before I apply?
Having the following to hand will help speed up the application process and how quickly we can check that you qualify for help.
- Your national insurance number
- Your bank account number and sort code
- If you do not qualify for a means tested benefit but are on a low income, you may be asked to supply pay slips and/or bank statements.
How is this scheme being funded?
All of these programmes are supported by the Department for Work and Pensions, who have allocated £842M of government's Household Support Fund to County Councils and Unitary Authorities.
This fund is available up to 31 March 2024, but may close sooner depending on how many applications for help are received.
How do I apply?
You will be able to apply online using the Grant Approval website.
The best way to apply is online as you will receive notification of the decision and can track the application. However, residents who are unable to apply online can call 01323 415047 and a member of the team will make the application on your behalf.
During this telephone call you will be asked to supply your National Insurance Number as well as your sort code and account number please have these to hand when you call as your application cannot be made without this information. If you are not in receipt of housing benefit or council tax reduction, you may need to supply evidence of your income and capital.
Are any other types of help on offer?
Yes - further, advice and help are available across the County as follows:
- Warm homes check service - if you're worried about keeping warm at home and you are on a low income, contact the team to get free advice and see if you qualify for help with any upgrades to things like windows, boilers, or insulation. East Sussex County Council - Keep warm and well, text WARM to 80011 or phone 0800 464 7307.
- Advice and support. Contact Citizens Advice, who can help direct you a range of advice and help services. They can also put you in touch with a range of voluntary groups and foodbanks across East Sussex that have also been given extra funding to help East Sussex residents manage extra the extra costs we are all facing this winter.
- Citizens advice, Eastbourne - Call 0800 144 8848 or find advice online at Citizens Advice Eastbourne - Citizens Advice in Eastbourne
- Citizens Advice, Lewes - Call 0808 278 7892 or find advice online at Lewes District Citizens Advice | East Sussex Citizens Advice - Citizens Advice in the Lewes district
- BHT Sussex - offer a range of services, details can be found on their website - Brighton Housing Trust
- Gov.uk has advice on help you can apply for - Gov.uk/cost-of-living