People eligible for a scheme to provide help to buy food and other essentials amid the cost of living crisis have been urged to ensure they have secured the support ahead of a deadline next month.
Anyone who qualified for the Household Support Fund in North Yorkshire is being asked to redeem their supermarket voucher by 15 February.
A third phase of the scheme set up by the Department for Work and Pensions and was launched across the county in January, and we are working with borough and district councils to help those most in need. The scheme provides a one-off payment in supermarket e-vouchers to help people pay for food and other essentials.
More than 23,000 people in the county have now received a letter containing an individual code. This code allows them to download a supermarket e-voucher, with the option of a printed version if they want.
The voucher system has been designed to be user-friendly, but residents who prefer face-to-face support can get help in North Yorkshire libraries, or through borough and district council offices. The latest round of funding includes support for families and working age households, as well more than 10,000 older people.
Executive member for stronger communities, Cllr Greg White said: “North Yorkshire’s libraries have some incredible staff and volunteers, who can help people of all ages with digital tasks.
He said they had already helped some people get their supermarket e-vouchers and been able to provide other support while they were in the library.
“One library recently helped one 87-year-old gentleman who is a carer for his wife who is in the early stages of dementia,” Cllr White said.
“He visited one of our libraries with his wife and they helped him access his voucher. He was delighted he could choose to split his £85 over multiple stores and was absolutely astonished at how simple and quick it was. He couldn’t have been happier about how easy the process was.”
The executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, called on anyone who is eligible to claim their voucher before 15 February, when the scheme closes.
He said: “The system involves just a few simple steps, but if you are struggling, take your voucher code into your local library, or some of the district council offices, where the teams there can help.
“We are also asking that people check whether any relatives who are eligible for the Household Support Fund need help if they are not confident with digital technology.”
The main groups of people who will receive Household Support Fund direct payments are:
- residents who received housing benefit on, or between, 26 August and 25 September, but who did not qualify for the second cost of living payment for people on low-income benefits or tax credits will receive a single e-voucher for £325
- residents who were getting the maximum discount to pay their council tax bill through the means-tested Council Tax Reduction Scheme, as of 30 November will receive a single e-voucher for £85
The remainder of the money from the Government has been distributed among other funding pots to help residents who may struggle to afford basic necessities. This includes the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund, Warm and Well in North Yorkshire and food banks.
Find more details about the Household Support Fund and our cost of living support.