Urgent Telephone 4pm - 8.30am : 01233 331111

Household Support Fund - 1 April-30 September 2022

The Household Support Fund is a government grant that is aimed to support those most in need to help with the significant rising living costs. This funding covers the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022 inclusive.

Ashford Borough Council have been allocated a sum of this national funding pot, by Kent County Council. The funding pot has been divided into two categories:

  • Vulnerable pensioners
  • Other low income households

Vulnerable Pensioners

Ashford Borough Council has identified some of the lowest income pensioner households. If you are a pensioner in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, you will be allocated £100, per household, from the Household Support Fund. You will receive a letter during July 2022, advising you of how this funding will be paid to you.   

If you are a pensioner, not in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, and you believe you are in receipt of a low income and you need help and support from the Household Support Fund, you can apply for support.

Other Low Income Households

Any low income or vulnerable household in Ashford can apply for support through this fund to help with essential household costs as listed below.

  • Food
  • Energy bills that include oil, gas and electric for heating, cooking, lighting
  • Water bills

To be eligible for a payment through the Household Support Fund, you must:

  • live in the Ashford Borough
  • be aged 16 or over
  • be in receipt of benefits or be on a low income and able to evidence this. Accepted benefits include:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • Housing Benefit
    • Council Tax reduction
  • not have access to any funds that can be relied on to meet the need is being applied for, and where you would be left with insufficient resources which would cause serious risk to your own, or your family’s, health, or safety
  • have less than £1000 in your bank account or in savings and be able to evidence this with a statement dated within the last month

When you are applying for assistance please be clear about what you are requesting support with, this will help us to feed back to Kent County Council and Government about where the demand for this funding has been.   

The fund is a fixed amount and therefore once it has been spent, no further payments will be made and the application window will close. Each applicant, if eligible, will be supported with a £200 payment directly to your bank account. There is a current limit of one application per household.

We will accept a referral of support from a professional working with your household, this should happen with your consent.  

Complete our Household Support Fund Form to apply. You will be asked to upload a recent bank statement with your online application form.

Preventing Fraud

It is very important that we make sure that all applications to our scheme are made legitimately. Please note that if you falsely declare your circumstances, provide a false statement or provide false evidence in support of your application, you may have committed an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Ashford Borough Council has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and financial irregularity and any suspicions of fraud relating to this scheme will be referred to the appropriate partnership organisations.

This funding scheme will close on or before the 30 September 2022, this is in line with Government guidance about the allocation of the funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What if I am unable to go online?

If you are unable to access and complete this application form on line, either by yourself or with support of family, friend or professional please contact Ashford Borough Council on 01233 330688 and we can take your contact details and arrange for a member of staff to complete the form on your behalf over the phone. Supporting evidence can be taken to the Civic Centre to be copied/scanned to support your application – clearly marking your name and address so that it can be matched to your application.

+ What happens after I have applied for support?

If you do not provide the information to support your application, such as a bank account statement, we will contact you to confirm what is required. You will have five days to provide the required supporting information, failure to provide in the timeframe will mean that your application is closed.

Once your application has been processed, we will contact you with the outcome.

+ Will you share my information with any other party?

The privacy notice on the application form confirms what we do with your personal information, how it is stored and who it will be shared with in respect of this scheme.

+ What will we award?

Following applications awards from the funding will be fixed at £200 per household. We will review the application per household as we approach the September deadline and whether there are any opportunities to exercise discretion if a vulnerable household is experiencing particular financial hardship that can be evidenced.

+ If I am given an award, when and how will I receive my payment?

Payments will be made within 10 working days of all information being provided. You will need to provide your bank details and payment will be made directly into your bank account.

+ Can you help pay my housing costs?

Only in exceptional circumstances, where the applicant is unable to apply for statutory assistance with housing costs, such as Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Discretionary Housing Payments. Any award will be at our discretion based upon the information within and supporting an application for support with housing costs.

+ What does the Household Support Fund NOT cover?

The scheme does not cover the following:

  • Any requests for items that are not essential for example debts incurred by gambling or loans/credit cards, overdrafts, Hire Purchase etc
  • Applications from those with sufficient income or savings
  • Requests for household items where these are the responsibility of the landlord
  • Rent arrears and/or deposits unless meeting exceptional need

+ How long will it take for a decision to be made?

We aim to make a decision within five working days of receiving all the required information, but depending on the level of demand for the scheme this may not always be possible and we will then aim for a decision within ten working days.

To speed up the application process please ensure you fully complete the application form and provide all the evidence we have listed or have asked for in follow up correspondence.

+ How long have I got to provide any further information that you may require?

If you are asked for additional information this has to be provided within five days of the request or the application will be closed.

+ How will I know whether I have been awarded any of the Household Support Fund?

A decision email will be sent to you as soon as your application is assessed.

+ What will happen if my bank account is overdrawn? Does this mean I can't access the money?

The First Right of Appropriation means that when you pay money into your account, you have the right to tell the bank how you want that money to be used. Therefore you must inform the bank (as soon as you find out your application was successful) how you want the money to be used at the time of payment.

+ Is it possible to appeal a decision if an application is unsuccessful?

This scheme is discretionary and there is no right of appeal, however, if as an applicant you feel that important information has been overlooked you may ask for us to review the application again by emailing the dedicated email householdsupport@ashford.gov.uk You will need to provide the reasons along with you name, address and application reference number.  This decision will be final.

+ Will the scheme change or be updated?

Following regular review of demand and expenditure against our fund we may need to make changes to ensure we support as many households as possible, any updates will be published on this page. All applications received the day after any published changes will be assessed in line with that updated information about the scheme.

Due to demand it may be necessary to pause applications for support, this will enable staff to work through any backlog and not over commit the funding. The fund is a fixed amount and therefore once it has been spent, no further payments will be made and the application window will close permanently.

Page 1 of 2