Household Support Fund

Find out about the Household Support Fund and other financial help available in North Yorkshire.

The deadline to claim your Household Support Fund e-voucher payment has now passed

The latest phase of the Household Support Fund direct award scheme ended on Tuesday 20 February 2024. You’ll find information about using your vouchers in the frequently asked questions section on this page.

If you’re struggling to pay for food, energy and other essentials you’ll find information about support schemes and organisations in North Yorkshire which may be able to help or point you in the right direction on our cost of living page.

About the Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund was set up by the Government to help people who are struggling with the increase in living costs and feeling the financial pressure of paying their bills.

In North Yorkshire, there is a direct award e-voucher payment to people who are eligible. The fund is also used to supplement other schemes that help residents with their household costs.

For the fourth phase, the eligibility criteria for the direct award was updated based on guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions so that we could help people across North Yorkshire who missed out on other support, as well as other households in need. Because the guidance changed, you might have received a payment as part of a previous phase of the Household Support Fund and not this time.

People who were eligible for the direct award in this fourth phase could claim a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment to pay for food and other essentials.

The following groups received a letter that explained how to claim and use their e-voucher in the amounts below.

Criteria Amount Timings
People in North Yorkshire getting housing benefit on or between 26 January 2023 and 25 February 2023 who did not qualify for the cost of living payment made in April and May 2023 for people on low income benefits or tax credits. The cost of living payment was paid to people getting Universal Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. This group received a single e-voucher for £450

Letter sent out in September 2023.

Deadline to claim 24 October 2023.

People in North Yorkshire getting the maximum discount to pay their council tax bill through the means-tested Council Tax Reduction Scheme as of 14 August 2023. This group received a single e-voucher for £110.

Letter sent out in September 2023.

Deadline to claim 24 October 2023.

January second payment

There was a second e-voucher payment of £450 made in January to people who were getting housing benefit on or between 18 August 2023 and 17 September 2023 but did not qualify for the cost of living payment for people on low income benefits or tax credits made in October and November 2023. If someone became eligible since September 2023, this might be the first time they’ve had a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment. The deadline to claim this payment was 20 February 2024. The January second payment did not include people getting the maximum discount to pay their council tax bill through the means-tested Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Frequently asked questions

Eligibility for a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment

How did you decide who got a payment?

For this fourth phase of the Household Support Fund, the eligibility criteria was updated based on guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions so that we could help people across North Yorkshire who missed out on other support from the Government as well as other households in need. Because the guidance changed, you might have received a payment as part of a previous phase of the Household Support Fund and not this time. For example, if you were not getting the maximum discount to help pay your council tax bill through the means-tested Council Tax Reduction Scheme you were not eligible for the September 2023 payment.

What was the cut off date for claiming the Household Support Fund e-vouchers?

The cut off to claim the e-voucher for the January second payment was 20 February 2024 when the latest phase of the Household Support Fund direct payment scheme ended. Anyone who received a letter in September 2023 needed to claim their Household Support Fund e-voucher payment by 24 October 2023.

How did you get my information to send me a letter about claiming the Household Support Fund e-vouchers?

We worked alongside colleagues in our revenues and benefits team to identify people who matched the eligibility criteria. The Department for Work and Pensions have given us discretion to use existing benefits data to make sure that the funding goes to people who qualify. For more information on how we process your personal data, go to privacy notices.

Using your Household Support Fund e-vouchers

What is an e-voucher?

An e-voucher can be used in a store or when shopping online with some supermarkets. Some people prefer to use a printed version, but an e-voucher can be sent on email to use on a smartphone. When you use your voucher, nobody in the supermarket will know that you are eligible for the Household Support Fund. It will just be like any other voucher gift card. E-vouchers are sometimes known as a virtual gift card. You can find more information about the terms and conditions of each of the supermarkets involved on the voucher provider website.

What can I buy with my e-voucher?

You can use your e-vouchers to pay for food and other essentials. Vouchers cannot be used to pay for fuel, scratch cards/lottery tickets, tobacco products or pre-paid gift cards. Each supermarket has different exemptions, you can find more information about the terms and conditions of each of the supermarkets involved on the voucher provider website.

Who can use my e-voucher?

The e-voucher should be used by the person named in the Household Support Fund letter.

Do I have to spend the e-voucher all in one go?

You don’t need to spend your e-voucher all in one go. Each supermarket involved in the scheme will have different terms and conditions for using their e-vouchers. You can find more information about the terms and conditions of each of the supermarkets involved on the voucher provider website.

Can I check how much I have left on my e-voucher?

You can check your balance online and over the phone, depending on which supermarket you selected for your e-vouchers. You can find more information about the terms and conditions of each of the supermarkets involved on the voucher provider website.

What should I do if my e-voucher doesn’t work?

If your e-voucher doesn’t work you can call the voucher provider, Hawk Select, on 0800 5872294 seven days a week. Find other ways to contact Hawk Select, including email. If you do need to get in touch with Hawk Select, someone from their customer service team will get back to you within 24 hours.

What happens if I lose my printed voucher?

Please look after your voucher in the same way you would money. If you do lose your printed voucher and you redeemed it using your own email address, you will be able to get your original voucher from your inbox. If you got help to redeem your voucher from a library or council office, you can contact our customer service centre team by filling in a contact form.

Other support available

What other help and support can I get?

If you’re struggling to pay for food, energy and other essentials you may be able to get other financial support through schemes such as the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund (NYLAF) and a fund managed by North Yorkshire Citizens Advice and Law Centre that helps people struggling to pay their energy bills.

You’ll find more information about support schemes and organisations which may be able to help on our cost of living support page.

This includes advice on money, debt, benefit entitlement, free school meals and childcare costs as well as information about free Wi-Fi, digital support, travel and transport. The page also has information about energy saving, foodbanks and community-based support including Warm Welcome Spaces and local schemes depending on where you live.

North Yorkshire Citizen’s Advice and Law Centre provide free, confidential and impartial advice to help people find a way forward with whatever problems they face, including money and benefits. You can get advice in person, over the phone, on a web chat or by email by contacting North Yorkshire Citizen’s Advice and Law Centre direct.

Can I get help to pay my council tax bill?

If you’re on a low income or claim benefits you can apply for a reduction in the council tax you pay. Find more information on our web page.

If I’ve received a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment can I still apply to the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund (NYLAF)?

You can still apply to the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund even if you’ve received a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment. Find out about North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund (NYLAF).