Families can get up to £120 in vouchers to help with prepayment meter energy bills – and you get them within 24 hours
THOUSANDS of families can get up to £120 in vouchers that can be put towards paying off prepayment meter energy bills.
In most cases you'll get the aid sent through within just 24 hours, so there's a chance cash strapped Brits can get help just before Christmas.
The vouchers are part of a wider £500million government scheme set to fund councils and help those who need it most, called the Household Support fund.
An extra money boost before the most expensive time of the year could prove to be a massive help, especially as the cost of living comes down hard on many.
It's not only that, as energy bills have rocketed in recent months, and it's left many with the heartbreaking choice between heating and eating in the most extreme cases.
North Northamptonshire Council is looking to give its residents a leg up with the support scheme though, as it offers out the up to £120 vouchers to cover fuel costs.
The money is aimed at keeping the heat and light on in homes which have pre-payment energy meters, by sending emergency top-up vouchers that can be used on the payment method by households who lack the means to maintain supply.
It's broken down into £40 payments, of which you can get up to three per household over the winter period.
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If you live in the area you can apply online now, and once your application is submitted to the council, all the info will be looked over to determine if you're eligible.
If you're successful, and have sent over the relevant forms, it'll only take three working days for food vouchers to come in, and for fuel bank vouchers, in most cases, they'll be issued on the same day the application is approved.
Applications for a grant from the fund opened on December 1, but they're running until March 31 next year, so there's plenty of time to claim.
If you're in a rush to get the money before Christmas though, you'll need to apply sooner rather than later.
The quicker you get your details across, the quicker you'll be paid, but there's still a chance it's possible to get the money just before the big day if you get the ball rolling from today, with four days to go until the festive holiday.
If you're still in need of help covering costs with your energy bills though, you can also contact your energy supplier directly for support in the event of severe hardship, they run their own grants and that can help and may be more suited.
But those who live further afield shouldn't worry, as it's not only North Northamptonshire that's offering out help this Christmas.
Herefordshire Council is accepting applications for a one-off £60 payment to help families in the area cover fuel costs in a similar way, but the money can go towards food too.
It's similar also to how thousands of families can get £30 per child in supermarket vouchers, in time for Christmas too, after councils like Cambridgeshire offered out the scheme.
It's also quick-fire to claim as you could get the money on the same day.
You could also get as much as £200 in cash to cover other hardship costs in Birmingham, and £100 is being offered to those living in Spelthorne.
But what you can claim will vary depending on where you live.
It's up to your local council to allocate the money from the Housing support fund accordingly – it means a postcode lottery though, as some councils are offering more help than others, while some don't have any schemes in place.
You will need to find out from your local council what support they are offering under the Household Support fund by visiting the gov.uk's website and using it's authority finder tool.
It's not only cash or vouchers up for grabs either, in some cases households can claim free school meals now that term has broken up for Christmas.
If you don't need it this break, it runs in many councils through the February half term early next year too.
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