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Household Support Fund and Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) hardship support schemes

The Household Support fund has now been extended for the period April – September 2022 and is now open for new applications.

Household Support Fund (HSF) April – September 2022

Household Support Fund policy (PDF, 271KB)

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 September 2022, 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 May half term and summer holiday break 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.

Individual Assistance Payment (IAP)

Individual Assistance Payment policy (PDF, 272KB)

Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) is a fund that is intended to alleviate hardship. It allows customers who face a variety of challenges, time to find alternative solutions to shortfalls in income and help with:

  • food and general living costs
  • utility and energy costs
  • essential white goods (ovens/washing machines/fridge freezers)
  • other household items in an emergency only need such as beds & other furniture  

There will be exceptional cases where an IAP is required in the long term; however, it should not be seen as a permanent solution.

The scheme will work with the Homes & Money Hub to support the residents across a broad range of services. This will include referrals of applicants to services such as Job Shop, Budgeting and Debt advice, Adult Learning and any other relevant service as applicable for further advice and ongoing support.

The IAP Scheme will work in conjunction with our Household Support Fund (HSF) & Energy Rebate scheme (ERS). 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 HSF/IAP/ERS application form for support to be awarded through any of these funds as detailed.

Energy Rebate Discretionary Scheme (ERS) April – September 2022

Energy Rebate Discretionary Scheme Policy (PDF, 212KB)

The Government will provide funding for billing authorities to give all households in England whose primary residence is valued in council tax bands A – D a one-off council tax energy rebate payment of £150 if they are in residence as of 1st April 2022.

This payment will operate outside of the council tax system, using council tax lists to identify eligible households.

Funding has also been provided for a discretionary scheme for households that are not eligible for the criteria set out above.

Barking & Dagenham has been awarded £560,400 of this funding to support households across the local authority area.

The Energy Rebate Discretionary Scheme (ERS) will be used to provide support to those suffering from financial hardship as a result of the rising cost of living due to increased energy bills.

The scheme is designed to help meet those immediate needs and those struggling to afford energy and utility related bills.

The Energy Rebate Scheme (ERS) will work in conjunction with our Household Support Fund (HSF) & Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) schemes. 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 HSF/IAP/ERS application form for support to be awarded through any of these funds as detailed.

Eligibility

To apply for the HSF, IAP or ERS you should be:

  • a resident of London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
  • For the ERS scheme hold a current live Council Tax Account
  • on a low income or unemployed OR
  • in receipt of a benefit such as Income Support, Universal Credit, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, the Guarantee element of Pension Credit, a disability benefit such as Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (you do not need to be in receipt of a benefit to apply)
  • affected by the current cost of living
  • Had a significant change in your circumstances or life changing event that has placed you into hardship
  • has taken all reasonable steps to maximise incomes available to you via claiming Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit, Discretionary Housing Payment, Discretionary Council Tax Relief and/or Universal Credit

All applications will be treated individually on their own merit under all relevant schemes.

The level of payment will be decided by the Council. (see HSF, IAP & ERS  guidance & policies)

The HSF, IAP & ERS schemes in most cases should be seen as a short-term and temporary fund to allow customers who face a variety of challenges to find alternative solutions.

The scheme will work in conjunction with the Homes & Money Hub to support the residents across a broad range of services. This will include referrals of both HSF, IAP, ERS and DHP Applicants to services such as Job Shop, Budgeting and Debt advice, Adult Learning and any other relevant service as applicable for further advice and ongoing support.

The schemes are discretionary, and the claimant does not have a statutory right to payment or appeal however if requested we will review the decision. 

We usually only make 1 award every 12 months, and this could be either a one-off payment or an ongoing award for up to 26 weeks as deemed appropriate. The award is normally issued by phone text payment (ATM withdrawal link), direct payment to utility providers and in exceptional circumstances only a BACS payment into your nominated bank account.

If HSF, IAP, ERS or DHP is awarded we may work with you the customer and develop an action plan to move towards your affordable long-term solution.

Before you submit your application, make sure you provide the following evidence to support your claim and avoid delay.

Emergency living expensesHousehold items
Income and expenditure (budget planner)Income and expenditure (budget planner)
IdentificationIdentification
3 months of full bank statements (not mini statements)3 months of full bank statements (not mini statements)
Proof of debts (loans/credit cards)Tenancy/mortgage agreement
Proof of income or benefitsProof of income or benefits
Recent utility bills (including proof of utility arrears/debts)Evidence of damaged/broken items or why items are required