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Household Support Fund

For professionals to make Household Support Fund referrals.

 

Applications for the current round of the Household Support Fund have now re-opened. Applicants who received funding between October and December 2022 will be able to re-apply for additional support, if required.

In the Spring Statement, the Government announced £3.6 million of further funding to support vulnerable children and families and pensioners.

The primary policy objectives behind the scheme are to support families and individuals with fuel and food costs during the cost of living crisis.

This includes provision for other vulnerable families, not just those eligible for free school meals.

Vouchers and financial support from the fund can be used to help with food or energy bills and any of the following:

  • Support with gas, electricity and water bills
  • Supermarket vouchers which can be used for food, essential kitchen equipment like cookers or fridges or other necessary essentials such as warm clothing and bedding

Access to the scheme

Many households in Leicestershire have seen their financial or family circumstances change due to the cost of living crisis. If the individual or family you are referring are on a low income and receive certain benefits, they may be able to get vouchers or financial support through the household support fund.

A referral must be made on behalf of applicants, from a professional support worker or agency. No direct applications will be accepted.

We recognise that all households may potentially be suffering hardship due to the cost of living crisis and we are seeking to provide support from the Household Support Fund to any household that meets its criteria.

Those who may be eligible include:

  • families that have received Free School Meals (FSM)
  • families with vulnerable children aged 0-5 or that may not qualify for FSM that are known to social workers and Children and Family Wellbeing Service but are not accessing FEEE
  • vulnerable families with or without children
  • clinically extremely vulnerable people
  • gypsy, traveller or show persons and other vehicle dwelling communities

Eligibility criteria

Applications must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. The applicant must be a resident of Leicestershire over 16 years old.
  2. A family/household with or without children who are experiencing financial hardship, which means that they are struggling to feed their family, to heat their home, or with other household/utility costs etc.
  3. Had their and/or their children’s identity verified by the professional submitting the application, for example, by using a form of photo ID (confirming the lead claimant’s identity) e.g. driving licence, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate.
  4. Had their pensionable age verified by the professional submitting the application, for example by using a form of photo ID (confirming the lead claimant’s identity) e.g. driving licence, passport, birth certificate.
  5. Had their proof of address verified by the professional (confirming their residence) e.g. benefits letter, bank statement, utility bill, Council Tax bill. If homeless confirmation that they are currently homeless in Leicestershire (from a professional).
  6. Eligibility confirmed by the suitable professional making the application. Evidence of financial hardship could include but is not limited to: difficulties and/or arrears due to inflationary energy costs those who have been made redundant and have not yet received universal credit, or other loss of household income.

Food vouchers for families with pupils eligible for Free School meals

Vouchers will be provided to the parents/carers of all pupils who are eligible for FSM. These will be distributed through schools and there are restrictions that mean the vouchers cannot be used to purchase controlled products such as alcohol and tobacco.

Children attending a Leicestershire school or further education college that are eligible, will be issued with vouchers to the value of:

  • £15 per child per week over the October 2022 and February 2023 half terms
  • £40 per child for the Christmas holidays
  • £35 per child for Easter 2023 holidays

Leicestershire pupils who attend schools in other areas will be provided with vouchers or in-kind support by the local authority in which the establishment is located.

The council will arrange the provision of vouchers for:

  • non-Leicestershire pupils who attend Leicestershire establishments and
  • pupils eligible for Free School meals in independent school provision

Families with children aged 0-5 eligible pre-school aged children in Leicestershire attending early years provision at a childminder, pre-school or day nursery may be entitled to the food vouchers if they usually attend sessions before and after lunch.
Children who reside in Leicestershire, and attend early years provision at a childminder, pre-school, or day nursery and are accessing their 2-year-old Free Early Education (FEEE) or Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) will be issued with vouchers to the value of:

  • £15 per child per week over the October 2022 and February 2023 half terms
  • £40 per child for the Christmas holidays
  • £35 per child for Easter 2023 holidays

Families with children aged 0-5 eligible pre-school aged children in Leicestershire attending early years provision at a childminder, pre-school or day nursery may be entitled to the food vouchers if they usually attend sessions before and after lunch.

Will there be any changes to the fund?

If we need to make any changes, we’ll publish and updated policy on this webpage. All applications received the day after any published changes will be assessed in line with the new policy.

Applying for the Household Support Fund 

To apply on behalf of an individual to the fund

Apply for the Household Support Fund

Should you have any questions about the person you are referring, or you would like to know more, contact the Household Support Fund team: householdsupportfund@leics.gov.uk

The above email address is for referee use only and should not be shared or used by the person you are applying on behalf of.