Thousands of struggling households could get up to £200 free cash this winter – how to apply

THOUSANDS of households struggling to get by this winter can get extra help and it could be worth as much as £200.

Local councils across the country have millions of pounds to dish out to families and individuals on low incomes.

Each area is giving out the help from the £500m Household Support Fund in different ways.

Hardship payments of £100 and £200 will be given out to those who need it in Birmingham.

Up to 35,000 are estimated to be eligible for the help, according to Birmingham council.

The amount of cash is given out to areas depending on their size and need. For example Blackpool has £1.7m and Windsor £500k.

The cash in Birmingham will be distributed through existing welfare programs in the area.

Help will be available in all ten districts of the city for households who already access existing welfare support – and there's no age restriction.

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You can check what's being offered in your area by finding your local council using this tool and searching you postcode.

Some areas are giving cash payments and others supermarket vouchers.

For instance, Herefordshire Council is giving a one-off £60 payment to help families in the area and in Manchester there's £100 payment.

Meanwhile rResidents of West Northamptonshire can get help with their energy bills worth up to £120.

It's best to apply now rather than leaving it until later as there are deadlines for getting the help and some have already closed.

Birmingham council has not given a date for the support to end, but the fund is designed to cover support over the winter months until March.

If information about the scheme is not yet listed on your local authority's website, you can call or email for more information.

The amount available, eligibility, and how you apply will vary between locations.

The extra cash for hard-up households comes as millions of families face higher bills and living costs.

Some Universal Credit claimants are worse off after losing a temporary uplift to the benefit worth £20 a week.

Those on low incomes getting Universal Credit can now earn more from work after the taper rate was slashed.

Last year cash was given out through the Winter Covid Support Grant in the same way.

If you're not eligible for the extra cash offered by your local authority, you could still get help other ways.

Here's what you could get to help you pay council tax, energy, water bills and more.

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