Household Support Fund for food and energy

About our service

Funded by the UK government, the Household Support Fund scheme supports vulnerable Kent households in need of help with significantly rising living costs.

We are working hard to assess all Household Support Fund applications as quickly as we can. We are unable to accept any new applications at this time.

Our Household Support Fund scheme does not require banking details to provide support and we will never request this information over the telephone. If you receive any calls requesting this information, claiming to be from a local council, please be vigilant and follow the advice below:

  • Report the call to Action Fraud.
  • Contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 for advice if you need it.
  • Alert your bank if you have already given out your bank details.

If you have already submitted an application and have received a confirmation email or text, your application will be assessed before 30 September 2022.

If you need immediate assistance, check the other places to get help section for further advice.

You will be eligible for assistance if you:

  • are aged 16 or over
  • are a Kent resident, permanently living within one of the 12 local authorities covered by Kent County Council (this excludes Medway, Bexley, or Bromley)
  • live on a low working income or receive a means-tested benefit if not in employment
  • haven’t previously accessed this round of Household Support funding.

If you qualify, we will issue your household with energy vouchers to the value of £150 and supermarket vouchers to the value of £150 which can be redeemed towards food and essential household items.

We will send awarded vouchers to you by either email or SMS text.

If you don’t have access to the internet or email, the vouchers will be posted to your home address.

Apply

We are working hard to assess all Household Support Fund applications as quickly as we can. We are unable to accept any new applications at this time.

If you have already submitted an application, one of our assessment officers will contact you as soon as possible.

If you need immediate assistance, check the other places to get help section for further advice.

Appeal a decision

If we have declined your application within the last 7 days and you feel the decision should be reviewed, you can appeal in the following ways:

If you have an account

Log in and appeal against a declined application

If you don't have an account

Appeal against a declined application using our online form

If we cannot offer help or you need more help, you can try the following:

Food

You can try your local food banks or the Salvation Army. If you have children under 5, you can also try your local children's centre for both food and clothes.

Clothes and furniture

You can try the Salvation Army, Freecycle, Gumtree, local Facebook selling pages or your local charity shops. If you have a social worker involved with you or your family, they may look into trying Family Fund with you.

Power and utilities

Speak to your provider first to see if they can offer emergency credit. The British Gas Energy Trust may be able to help, or the Salvation Army.

Energy efficiency or heating grants

Collective switching schemes

You could save money on your energy bills by joining a collective switching scheme. This combines buying power through auctions to access more competitive tariffs. Participation is completely free with no obligation to switch your current energy tariff or energy provider. Examples of schemes in Kent include:

Utility company schemes

If you are in receipt of a pension, disabled or chronically sick, have a long-term health condition, are in a vulnerable situation, have a hearing or visual impairment, or other additional communication needs, you could be eligible to join the priority services register. The register allows you advance notice of power cuts, priority support in an emergency and more. Contact your energy supplier to sign up to the priority services register.

Support with energy arrears or debt

Find out whether your energy provider can offer you some help:

Financial advice

  • Citizens Advice can help you check for any benefits or financial support to help you with energy bills or allow for you to make energy improvements to your home.
  • Energy Saving Trust has lots of information about how to save energy at home and some financial advice.
  • Turn2us is a national charity providing financial support to help people get back on track. You can access a benefits calculator and grant search to find charitable funds you may be eligible for.

Other assistance

Support if debt is affecting your mental health

The Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS) service can provide protection to those suffering a mental health crisis who are struggling with debt.