Apply for the Household Support Fund
Between April 2023 and March 2024, the Department for Work and Pensions has allocated funding to Councils in England, to support those in need in their local area. Please also see Cost of Living Hub for further information.
West Berkshire Council has been allocated funding to assist with costs such as energy bills, food, clothing and housing in exceptional circumstances.
The Household Support Fund is there to support those most in need. Priority will be given to households who are ineligible for other government support and vulnerable groups regarding the cost of living crisis.
As with previous years, West Berkshire Council is providing assistance to households in crisis with short term financial aid. West Berkshire Council will also assist with signposting regarding household needs.
The 2023/24 Household Support Fund is limited to one successful application per household.
Payments are set as a maximum for the following households:
- Family Household Plus Payment (3 or more children) - £300
- Family Household Payment (1 to 2 children) - £250
- Household Payment - £150
You must provide the following or your application may be rejected:
- declaration of Household income and expenditure
- one full month's bank statement for all accounts
- confirmation of any savings
- recent utility bill or evidence of a West Berkshire Address
- if you are applying for a family household payment, the number of children in the household must be evidenced, i.e Universal Credit /Child Benefit.
You may also provide the following to support your application:
- evidence of utility debts
- other supporting documents relevant to your claim
Your application will not progress without these documents.
Please send any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read our answers to frequently asked questions here.
If you are a professional or volunteer and have received an authentication code from the West Berkshire Household Support Fund, then you can apply on behalf of your clients here.
If you wish to apply for an authentication code please contact email@example.com.
What funding has been allocated?
The following has been allocated to date:
Holiday school meal vouchers
West Berkshire Council will again provide free school meal vouchers during the holidays. Eligible children will receive a total of 7 weeks including 4 weeks in summer 2023, 2 weeks at Christmas 2023 and 1 week at Easter 2024. This is an increase of 1 week from last year, with vouchers being issued by the school as usual.
If your child attends a school supported by Oxfordshire CC a reciprocal arrangement is in place with Oxfordshire CC to support eligible children who attend school in their local authority area.
If your child attends school outside of West Berkshire and there is no reciprocal arrangement in place a claim can be made with the Household Support Fund (firstname.lastname@example.org) this will not affect any future claims against the fund.
Recognising that pensioners have previously had a low uptake of this fund in 2022/23, despite being vulnerable to the cost of living issues, additional funds have been set aside to provide targeted assistance for this group. Working with specific charities and partners to identify most in need.
The council has also prioritised funds to work with partners and charities to identify vulnerable households such as the disabled, unpaid carers and care leavers. As part of this, services will be provided to assist those in crisis situations with signposting to practical targeted support.