Hardship payment schemes

Household Support Fund (HSF) October 2022 – March 2023

Household Support Fund policy (PDF, 341KB)

Vulnerable households across Barking & Dagenham can now continue to access an extended national £500m support fund to help them with essentials over the coming months, up to March 2023, to support households with the increasing cost of living.

The primary purpose of the scheme is to support residents with expenses related to the rising cost of living.

Barking & Dagenham have been awarded £2,162m of this funding which will support households across the local authority area to meet daily needs such as utilities (gas, electric, water), food and wider essential costs connected with utilities (such as boiler servicing and repairs – owner occupiers only). Selected household goods essential for cooking and provision of food (cookers, fridges, freezers, pans, utensils) or other related essentials that can support reducing the cost of living can also be considered.

Other wider essential costs (essential for WORK expenses such as petrol and diesel fuel costs, travel passes, mobile and broadband costs – NOT devices), clothing, blankets may also be considered if it assists with supporting the cost of living.

Housing costs can only be considered in exceptional circumstances where existing housing support schemes such as Housing Benefit, Universal Credit Housing Element, Discretionary Housing Payment and homeless prevention support do not meet the exceptional need.

In addition, the Household Support Fund, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will help families over the October, Christmas and February half term holiday breaks by providing Free School Meal (FSM) vouchers to all pupil premium free school meals eligible children. These will be issued direct to those children via the attended in borough school office.

If you think your child may be eligible for Free School Meals, Pupil Premium but you have NOT claimed or been awarded this, please check the income thresholds for eligibility and to submit a claim.

Parents of children living within Barking & Dagenham but attending school OUTSIDE of the local authority area should email benefits@lbbd.gov.uk to claim these vouchers.

The Household Support Fund will work in conjunction with our current Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) scheme and the Discretionary Housing Payment fund. A single claim only, needs to be made, for support and assistance to be considered from any of these schemes. Consideration will be given, on receipt of either a valid Household Support/Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) or Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) application form for support to be awarded through any of these funds as detailed.