The Government has announced that a third Household Support Fund (HSF) grant will be made available to county councils and unitary authorities in England to support those most in need.
The original HSF grant ran from 6 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Lincolnshire County Council received £5.46m and a further £5.46m during 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022.
We are pleased to have been allocated £5.46m for this third round of the HSF, which covers the period from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. This time, the government has not ringfenced any of this funding for particular groups of people. However, local authorities are asked to give particular consideration to groups who may not have benefitted from any of the recent cost of living support.
In terms of the type of support, the government has asked local authorities to prioritise supporting households with energy costs, food, essentials linked to energy and water, and wider essentials.
Lincolnshire County Council has worked in partnership with district councils to identify and agree the most appropriate methods for distributing this funding. In Lincolnshire, our plans include using 56% of the grant to fund support for children and young people eligible for free school meals, two-year-old early years entitlement and early years pupil premium. This funding will be allocated through schools and early years providers to eligible families via a one-off payment of £100 per child. It is expected that families will receive this support before the end of November 2022. In addition, 1% of this funding will provide support to children in care in supported living accommodation.
The seven district councils across Lincolnshire will collectively distribute approximately 25% of the grant funding to households in receipt of housing benefit only as this is a group where some of these customers have not benefited from other recent cost of living support. If you are eligible, you will receive a letter from your district council giving further details - you do not need to contact the council as they will contact you if you have been identified as entitled.
The remaining funding will be made available to support other households in need. Details of the support in your local area will be on your district council’s website as and when they have their local arrangements in place. These will be based on the needs of the local communities in their area, which include working with food banks, providing vouchers and one-off support payments via applications. We appreciate that not all households will be eligible for support. However, the government have put a number of arrangements in place, and this is just one. You can access your district council’s website using the following links:
- Boston Borough Council
- City of Lincoln Council
- East Lindsey District Council
- North Kesteven District Council
- South Holland District Council
- South Kesteven District Council
- West Lindsey District Council
Residents facing financial difficulties can also visit https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/ for details of the other support available.
In addition, there is a Holiday Food and Activity programme for children eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
If you are finding it difficult to manage at this difficult time, please remember Citizens Advice offer free, confidential and impartial advice to everyone to find a way forward whatever problem you may face. So please call their national advice line 0800 144 8848.
On Monday 20 February, the government announced that Lincolnshire would be awarded a further £10,929,370 for the fourth round of the Household Support Fund, which covers the period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. Local authorities are currently reviewing the guidance provided by the government on how this funding can be used. Further details will be published once available.
How we have used personal information to identify eligible households/individuals, to provide targeted support to those most in need
For the Early Years element of the funding and associated entitlements, information is provided to us via parents’ declarations, for the purpose of checking eligibility. For free school meal eligible (FSM) children, we have used information from parental FSM applications. For the children in care element of fund distribution, we have used information held within children’s services to identify eligible recipients. For the housing benefit only element of fund distribution, the Department for Work and Pensions, LCC and district councils have worked together according to government guidance, using benefits data and address identifiers about eligible residents in Lincolnshire. This has helped us to ensure the grant funding is targeted appropriately and to facilitate payments under local arrangements.
Information is processed by us in order to perform our tasks carried out in the public interest and in the exercise of our official authority.
We are required to retain your information for as long as is necessary, after which it will be securely destroyed. We have retention schedules in place that set out in detail how long information will be held for.
Your information rights
You have several rights in relation to the information that the council holds about you. For more information about how we handle personal data, your rights, when they might apply and how to make a request to exercise them, please see our customer privacy notice and Privacy Notice Directory.