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THOUSANDS of hard-up households can get free cash to help with essential costs.
The government has extended its Household Support Fund and local councils are revealing how they can help. 
1Households can get extra help with bills and food costs
The scheme originally launched in October 2021 to help families with Covid costs and was due to end in March this year.
But Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extra £500million cash injection in his Spring Statement, extending the scheme until September.
The help on offer varies across the country, with each council setting its own eligibility criteria.
For example, Salford City Council are providing residents with thermal curtains to help heat their homes, and Torbay offers £50 for households struggling to afford food and bills.

If you’re not sure whether you meet the criteria for your area, speak to your local council directly.
Plymouth City Council has revealed it will give local organisations up to £10,000 to support vulnerable households.
Most of the cash, particularly for energy, will be given to Citizens Advice Plymouth, Age UK Plymouth, and Plymouth Energy Community.
Those organisations will then hand it out to households in need of extra support before the scheme ends in September.

Who is eligible for the support?
Plymouth Council said local organisations should aim to give grants to a wide range of low income families in need.
The groups being targeted include, but aren’t limited to:

Pensioners
Households with children entitled to free school meals 
Anyone suffering from food or fuel poverty 
Homeless residents
Recently unemployed people

For more information on the eligibility criteria, you can call the council’s phone line on 01752 668000. 
The deadline for organisations to apply for the funding is May 16, so there may be a wait before you can access the grants.

If you find you’re not eligible for the Household Support Fund but still need support, you can get in touch with an organisation who may be able to help:

National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
Step Change – 0800 138 1111
Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

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