Thousands of parents to get £120 to spend on their weekly shop – are you eligible? | The Sun

Thousands of parents to get £120 to spend on their weekly shop – are you eligible? | The Sun


THOUSANDS of parents could get up to £120 in free supermarket vouchers to help with soaring costs.

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

The scheme was first established last year, extended for the second time in the March budget and for a third time in November to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.

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.

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


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For example, thousands of parents in Derbyshire can get up to £120 in supermarket vouchers.

What are councils offering and who is eligible?

Local authorities have had some autonomy on how they use the Fund to reach the vulnerable people in their communities.

Eligibility requirements will vary depending on where you live – so check directly with your council if you could get the cash help.

For example, parents in Derbyshire could get a £40 food voucher sent by email or text message.

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There is no need to apply, and the help will be sent automatically.

To be considered for the payment, you must:

  • Have a child who received benefit related free school meals between September 1 and December 22
  • A child in an early years setting (nursery or pre-school) who received free childcare for two-year-old
  • A child who received the early years premium for three or four-year-olds between September 1 and December 22
  • Be a care leaver aged up to 21 and living independent

Eligible households will get a £40 voucher per eligible child.

So if you have three children, you could get up to £120 in help.

If you live in the catchment area of Derbyshire County Council, and you think you're eligible for the support, but you haven't received a voucher, you should:

  • Check your junk email folder to make sure the vouchers you are missing are not in there
  • Speak to your child’s school – some schools in Derbyshire have been provided with copies of eligible pupils’ unique voucher codes
  • Complete the missing voucher reporting form on the council's website

Who can get free school meals?

Children whose parents claim certain benefits are eligible to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

If your child receives free school meals during term time then they should be entitled to vouchers during the holidays also.

However, check with your local council as this can change between areas.

You can apply for free school meals through your local authority's website.

What if I don't live in Derbyshire?

Some households will be notified that they can apply for the cash help and others will receive the cash automatically.

Again, your council will set out whether or not you need to apply for the free cash.

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.

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:

  • 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

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

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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