The Household Support Fund (HSF) is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions to support those most in need with food costs, energy or water bills, or wider household essentials. To further support households with the rising cost of living, the Government allocated £842 million to local authorities in England to extend the Household Support Fund for a year.
The scheme runs until 31st March 2024. If you are struggling with the cost of essentials, you may be able to receive extra support depending on your circumstances.
What help has been made available?
Between June and July 2023, we made an automatic payment to all working age households in the borough of Burnley that were eligible, as of the 1st June 2023, for council tax support.
From November 2023 we are providing a voucher for low income households with three or more children. The payment is made through a Post Office voucher.
The council also runs a discretionary payment scheme. Please note this scheme may be suspended at any point for new applications depending on demand and availability.
Before you begin your application to the discretionary payment scheme
- Read the frequently asked questions about who can apply and how to apply
- Have enough time: completing the application form will take approximately 30 minutes. The form is at after the “Frequently asked questions- before you apply” section below.
- Have all supporting information ready to upload
Frequently Asked Questions- before you apply
The aim of this scheme is to provide longer term support to our residents who are struggling financially.
Who can apply?
- You CANNOT apply if you or someone in your household received a household support fund payment or post office voucher from the council in the last 12 months.
- You must be aged 16 or over
- You must be a resident of the borough of Burnley
- You must be experiencing financial hardship and struggling to afford essential items or living costs
- Your must willing to engage with other support agencies such as Citizens Advice, Christians Against Poverty and Burnley Together
- You do not need to be on benefits to apply, but your savings must be less than £2000.
How do I apply?
- Your must complete the online application form below
- You must provide:
- at least one month of recent bank statements for all open bank / savings accounts held by adults within the household
- if you receive universal credit, a full breakdown of your universal credit statement
- Once your application is received by us, we make contact with you after 15 working days
- If the required documents have not been provided, we cannot proceed with your application. All applications will be closed 10 working days after they have been submitted if the documents are not provided
What support is available?
The types of short term support the fund can help with include:
- Utility bills
- Household appliances
- Other essential items
How will I receive support?
- If you are successful we will send you a Huggg voucher. Huggg is the name of the company we are using to send out vouchers. The vouchers can be for shopping, or paying energy bills, or to buy other household essentials. The type of voucher we send you will depend on your circumstances.
- The voucher will be sent to you either by email or text message (applicants that are not online or don’t have a mobile phone will receive a voucher in the post).
- You will be asked to make an appointment with a support service, such as Citizens Advice.
- After your appointment, you could receive a top up Huggg voucher.
What other help could I get?
As part of the assessment process, we may refer you onto other organisations to help. These organisations may:
- Carry out a debt assessment and benefit check to identify debts they can support with and ensure you are receiving all the income and benefits you are entitled to
- Put in any requests to the Household Support Fund for further support
- Carry out more in-depth follow-up appointments where required
How we use your data- protecting your privacy
For details on how Burnley Borough Council uses your data, see our privacy notice. This scheme is being run in partnership with East Lancashire Citizens Advice, Christians Against Poverty and Burnley Together. In applying to the scheme we will seek your consent to share your information.
Help with obtaining your bank statement
- Barclays – for further help call 0345 734 5345
- Chase – for further help call 0800 376 3333
- Co-Op Bank – for help call 03457 212 212
- First Direct – for further help call 03456 100 100
- HSBC – for further help call 03457 400 400
- Halifax – for further help call 0345 720 3040
- Lloyds – for further help call 0345 300 0000
- Monzo – for further help call 0800 802 1281
- Nationwide – for further help call 03457 302 011
- Natwest – for further help call 0345 788 8444
- Royal Bank of Scotland – for further help call 0345 724 2424
- Santander / Santander Mobile – for further help call 0330 9123 123
- Starling – for further help call 0207 9304 450
- Tesco – for further help call 0345 300 3511
- TSB – for further help call 03459 758 758
How do I provide a Universal Credit Statement?
If you receive part of your income from Universal Credit, we will need to see evidence of this. If you’re unsure on how to get a statement for this, please follow the steps below:
- Log in to your Universal Credit account here.
- Go to the Payments page.
- Click on the latest statement.
- The statement will appear on your screen.
- You can then select the option to ‘Print to PDF’ or ‘Save as PDF’
How do I provide the financial documents?
The best way to do this is to upload the documents through the online application form or if you are unable to do this email through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also provide your financial information directly at Burnley Town Hall or the Customer Contact Centre at Parker Lane. Please mark if for the attention of HSF Team, Policy and Engagement.
Please note any applications that are submitted without the required financial documents will not be processed until this has been received. All applications will have 10 working days from the date of applying to submit these before they will be closed.
Frequently Asked Questions- after you’ve applied
Can I appeal a decision if my application is unsuccessful?
As this is a discretionary scheme there is no right of appeal. However, if you think we have overlooked important information then you can ask for us to look at the application again by emailing email@example.com providing reasons along with your name, address and reference number.
This decision will be final.
How long will my application take?
Applicants can expect to be contacted after 15 working days of submitting a fully completed application containing all the required information. we will aim to ensure any support is distributed within 2 working days of the initial assessment.
Can I apply more than once?
We will only accept one application per household within a 6-month period. If you or someone else has applied already from your household the support will have been offered with all residents of the address in mind.
How do I use my Huggg Voucher?
How do I use my Huggg Paypoint Voucher?
I topped up my gas card/key or electricity card/key and the money hasn’t been loaded. What should I do?
Please contact PayPoint directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.