Eligible households with children urged to apply for support to help ease cost of living pressures
Households with children who are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) in the county are to receive extra support to help cover the costs of food and energy bills this winter.
As part of the Household Support Fund (HSF), Nottinghamshire County Council is to receive an additional £5.6 million from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help ease some of the financial worries for residents who are struggling to make ends meet.
Up to £1.75 million of this money is being used to help families who qualify for FSM, with support provided via a single Winter Support Payment to each eligible household.
Now the County Council is writing to 17,898 households eligible for support inviting them to apply for their payment before the deadline of 31 January 2023.
Councillor John Cottee, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We are really pleased that the latest round of financial support from the HSF will provide a welcome boost to those households with children who are facing cost-of-living challenges this winter.
“Letters will be landing on your doormats in the coming days, so please look out for them as soon as you can because we want everyone who is eligible for this payment to receive this vital support.
“I would also like to reiterate the message once again to residents about fraudsters who unscrupulously pose as Nottinghamshire County Council.
“Therefore, if you do have any concerns or doubts about the letter you receive from us, I would encourage you to check this letter with family, friends, or someone you trust.
“Alternatively, please do not hesitate to telephone our Customer Service Team or visit our website to check the letter is genuine. We won’t be contacting anyone about the Winter Support Payment via text message.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said the roll out of the Winter Support Payment would build on the County Council’s work to support thousands of households across the county.
She said: “The Winter Support Payment is the fairest way to distribute money from the latest round of HSF funding and ensures those households and families with children who need support will get the help they need.
“With so many people dealing with the ongoing pressures of rising cost of living, we want to make sure help is available for those who will be the hardest hit.
“We are proud of our record in delivering support to families struggling with cost-of-living challenges and the roll out of the Winter Support Payment reaffirms our commitment to helping those households and ultimately making sure thousands of Nottinghamshire schoolchildren won’t go hungry.
“This latest announcement is in addition to other continuing schemes to support the wellbeing of children in the county, including our Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) which focuses on supporting youngsters to improve their knowledge of health and nutrition and encouraging them to eat more healthily and be more active during school holidays.”
In terms of eligibility, the support an individual family will receive will depend on the number of children eligible for FSM in the household:
- If the household receives FSM for one child, the household will be eligible for £90 of support in total (£30 towards your child’s food costs, and £60 towards your energy costs);
- If the household has more than one child eligible for FSM, the household will receive an additional £30 per eligible child towards their food costs.
For example, two eligible children = £120 total support offered; three eligible children = £150 total support offered and four eligible children = £180 total support offered.
Eligible households can apply for the payment from Monday 5 December by completing an online form or, if anyone is unable to complete the form, contact the Council’s Customer Service Team, which is open Monday to Thursday, between 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4.30pm, on 0300 500 8080.
The County Council will announce in due course further details about the roll out of other parts of phase three of HSF – including when pensioners will be able to apply for support.
For further information about the Household Support Fund, visit The Nottinghamshire Household Support Fund (HSF) Phase 3 | Nottinghamshire County Council