THOUSANDS of households struggling with the cost of living can get supermarket and energy vouchers worth up to £210.
The help comes via the latest tranche of the Household Support Fund which is worth £421million.
The money from government has been shared between councils who have been allocating it to residents in need.
That means what you are entitled to depends on where you live, and it can be a bit of a postcode lottery.
Medway Council, in Kent, is distributing supermarket and energy vouchers worth up to £210.
Eligible residents can get food and household essentials vouchers, but what you can get depends on your circumstances:
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- single person: £50
- household with two people: £70
- household with three people: £105
- household with four people: £140
- household with five people: £175
- household with six or more people: £210
Households in the area can also get energy vouchers regardless of whether they are on a prepayment meter or not.
And £50 vouchers are being offered to those struggling to pay their water bills too.
Different eligibility rules apply for each voucher so you should check out Medway Council's website for further details.
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Who is eligible and how can I apply?
To be eligible for the support you have to be a Medway resident, aged 16 or over and have less than £500 in your bank account as this proves you are in financial hardship.
You can apply for the vouchers on Medway Council's website.
You'll need some information to hand though, including your personal details, contact details, bank statements and your National Insurance number.
If you think you are in line for help, you should get in touch with the council as soon as possible.
Local authorities only have until March 31 to allocate their latest share of the Household Support Fund.
Once you've submitted your application Medway Council will contact you letting you know if you are in line for help.
What about if I don't live in Medway?
You can get help through the Household Support Fund if you don't live in Medway.
That's because councils across England have been allocated a share of the fund.
But what you can get varies depending on where you live as the money hasn't been paid out equally.
Some councils are issuing funds as direct bank transfers while others are giving households vouchers.
Eligibility criteria varies depending on the council area too, but usually help is given to those on benefits or a low income.
For example, thousands of households in North Yorkshire have just days left to redeem £325 supermarket vouchers before they expire.
The best thing to do is contact your local council to see if you are line for any help.
You can find your local council by using the government's council locator tool found online.
Meanwhile, millions of households in England, Scotland and Wales should be in the process of receiving the £400 energy rebate.
The £400 payment has been split into six monthly instalments being made between October 2022 and March this year.
In most cases, the money is being applied as a discount to customers' bills.
But if you are on a prepayment meter you have to redeem voucher which are sent to you.
In the Autumn Statement, chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900 cost of living payment too.
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Plus, a number of energy firms, including British Gas, Ovo Energy and Octopus offer grants to customers struggling with their bills.
You should contact yours if you are struggling with payments.
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