Household Support Fund 2023-2024

Applications for the Household Support Fund have now closed. 

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Bedford Borough Council is giving more than 50% of the Household Support Fund to families with children that qualify for free school meals. This will help vulnerable families on very low income to meet the cost of food and utilities particularly during school holidays when costs are higher.

We have a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme which provides a Council Tax Support discount of 100% to households on a low income. These households are those most likely to be most vulnerable and in need of additional support with the cost of food and utilities.

There will also be households who are not directly liable for Council Tax but are on a similar level of income.

Bedford Borough Council is prioritising grants to vulnerable households that have the lowest level of income as assessed through the Council Tax Support application process, which provides a high level of detail regarding the household income.

How the grant will be determined

  • Pensioners entitled to 100% Council Tax Support will receive £60.
  • Pensioners entitled to less than 100% Council Tax Support will receive £35.
  • Working-age households entitled to 100% Council Tax Support will receive £60.
  • Working-age households entitled to less than 100% Council Tax Support will receive £35.

Funding is also allocated to support households that are not liable to pay Council Tax because they live in shared accommodation where the landlord is responsible for the Council Tax, are exempt from Council Tax or live in a bed and breakfast guest house or similar.

Who is eligible for a Household Support Fund?

  1.  Person Receiving Council Tax Support – the ‘Council Tax payer’.
  2. A Council Tax payer who is receiving Council Tax Support discount from the Council at the time they apply for a Household Support Grant will qualify for an award.

A Council Tax payer living in a property in Council Tax bands E, F, G and H will be considered to be receiving a 100% Council Tax Support if they are receiving the maximum amount of Council Tax that may be awarded for a property in that band under the Council’s Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (ie if they are of pension age and they qualify for an award equal to 82% of their Council Tax liability).

People jointly liable to pay Council Tax. Where more than one person is liable to pay the Council Tax only one grant will be awarded to the household. It shall be at the Council’s discretion to determine to which of the jointly liable persons the grant is paid.

  1. Persons who are not liable for the Council Tax.

Some residents not liable for Council Tax will be eligible for a grant. These are residents who would be entitled to 100% Council Tax Support if they were liable for Council Tax, and are not liable because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • They live in shared accommodation and the landlord is the liable person and is not exempt from Council Tax.
  • They are exempt from paying Council Tax under exemption classes O, P S, U or W*.
  • Their sole or main residence is in a commercial property (for example a guest house or hotel).
  • They are persons ineligible for public funds who have a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution.

*members of armed forces, properties where all occupants are aged under 19, properties where all occupants are severely mentally impaired, properties with an annex occupied by a dependent relative.

Who is not eligible for a Household Support Fund?

Students living in halls of residence are not eligible.

Persons living in residential care homes where their food and utility costs are included in the overall cost of their care and accommodation are not eligible (this is because their contribution to these costs is determined by a financial assessment).

How to apply

If you have made a previous successful application and are still eligible for the Household Support Fund, you will automatically receive a payment (amount to be confirmed) directly into your bank account in March 2024. You do not need to reapply. If you make a duplicate application, your application will be closed with no further action taken. 

Deadline for new applications

The deadline for new applications was 10 March 2024. We are unable to consider any new applications after this date.

More help and advice

Visit UK Government's Cost of Living Hub to find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel.