Britons can claim up to £4.5k to help pay for rising bills this winter – are you eligible?
Martin Lewis: 500,000 more people now eligible for Universal Credit
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With rising bills, inflation and the pandemic hitting millions of families finances hard, many people may be able to benefit from the help available. The charity Shelter has also warned that the number of children on the brink of homelessness in the UK is 200,000 so it may be crucial now to seek help.
Anyone who receives Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and needs more financial support with housing costs can apply for this cash boost.
Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is offered by councils to those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
DHP funding is available in England and Wales, with slightly different rules for those based in Scotland.
DHP funding can help people with housing costs, including those affected by the benefit cap, the removal of the spare room subsidy in the social rented sector or Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.
DHP may be awarded to cover the costs of a rent shortfall, rent deposits or rent in advance if the claimant needs to move home.
Shelter estimated 55,000 children, along with their families, have already been evicted or removed from their homes in the last three months.
Senior midwife Kat Jordan El Karout, 48, is just one of the thousands of parents at risk of losing their homes, Shelter warned
She told The Sun: “I have tried to convince my sons we won’t be sleeping in doorways, but the fear is real.
“I feel helpless and try to be strong for the kids but they sometimes find me crying.
“I worked as a senior midwife bringing thousands of babies into the world and now I am looked upon as scum.
“It is heartbreaking.”
With thousands of people in need this winter, the DHP may be a vital lifeline for some families.
The exact amount people can get depends on where they live as each local authority gives out the cash based on the situation.
The average household could receive up £527, however, it can be more.
Reports show that some areas are giving out thousands of pounds.
In one area in the UK, the council were giving as much as £4,496 between April and September.
In Lewisham, southeast London, 165 families were given £742,000 between them to help with housing costs this year.
The amount councils can give out also depends on how many people need it.
As there is a certain amount for each area, the more people who apply the less money can be given out to each person who applies.
People can apply through their local council for Discretionary Housing Payment.
Britons can find their local council by searching their postcode on the gov.uk website.
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