Accessibility Statement
Chat icon Chat with us live

Guidance for applications to Tameside Council for Household Support Fund

 
Introduction
  1. This guidance is intended to support Tameside Residents applying to Tameside Council for a grant from the Household Support Fund (HSF) scheme announced by the Government (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-500m-support-for-vulnerable-households-over-winter) in September 2021, and first made available to Councils in October 2021. Additional funding has now been allocated for the period of 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022. 
 
  1. This guidance sets out the criteria under which residents will qualify to make an application to the Household Support Fund, the levels of grant award that are expected to be made and the evidence required to support an eligible application.  This is aligned with the final Government guidance issued on 29 April 2022 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/household-support-fund-guidance-for-local-councils/household-support-fund-final-guidance-for-county-councils-and-unitary-authorities-in-england)
 
  1. The Household Support Fund is intended to allow Local Authorities to support households in the most need particularly those including children and pensioners who would otherwise struggled with energy bills, food and water bills.
 
  1. Tameside Council has been allocated £2,224,686 of funding for this scheme for the period of 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022.
 
Scope and eligibility
 
  1. The Government guidance gives the Council discretion over the grant scheme, within the boundaries laid out by their guidance as above, and its decisions regarding the scheme will be final.  There is no appeal process for this grant scheme. 
 
  1. The fund is available until 30 September 2022, or until funds are fully exhausted.
    All applications will be assessed for eligibility, and applicants are asked to supply evidence to support their claim for funds.  If evidence requests are not responded to the application cannot be processed.
 
  1. Using the guidance issued to the Council by the Government, it has been determined that the Household Support Fund will be open to residents of Tameside in low income households.  This is determined through either:
    – confirmation from DWP records of entitlement to free school meals or free prescriptions
    – confirmation of receipt of benefits including income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance & Universal Credit
    – equivalisation calculation based on income, for in work households where benefits are not claimed
 
  1. The threshold for Low Income is £271.80 PW. The Threshold for Medium Income is £453.00 per week.
  
Tameside Council’s approach

9. Eligible residents have the opportunity to access this fund when the application window opens from 22 June 2022 on a first come first serve basis until funding is exhausted

10. All applications will be assessed to confirm eligibility. Should insufficient evidence be supplied to support an application, the applicant will be informed and supported to rectify this in a timely manner.  

11. To ensure that grant payments remain within the funding allocated by Government, payments will be made on a first come, first serve basis to eligible applicants, with measures in place to ensure that the minimum of one third of the fund is allocated to households with children and one third is allocated to pensioners, until the funding is exhausted.

12. The Council reserves the right to vary the terms of the scheme including the value of awards made under the scheme, at any time, and without notice, should it be necessary to do so.  

Evidence Required

13. In order for the application to be considered, we require residents to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria. We anticipate that to do this, you will need to provide:
  • Evidence to confirm residence in Tameside, such as a Council tax reference or bill; or other document demonstrating residence in the borough i.e. utility bill, rent agreement.  Any document provided must be dated within, or applicable to, the period June to September 2022.
  • Proof of household income level, i.e. Payslips, bank statements, full universal credit payment breakdown.
Where applicable for their application
  • Proof of children resident in their household.
  • Proof of number of people resident in their household.
  • Rent agreements and proof of any arrears.
  • Utilities bills and proof of any arrears. 
 
Grant Amounts and how payments will be made

14. The Council has access to limited funds from Government for this scheme. Awards exceeding £500 per household will require Director sign off and will be approved only in exceptional circumstances.

15.Requests can be made for:  
  • Food:  Assistance can be provided to eligible applicants in the form of a bank transfer, limited to £25 per person in each household
  • Energy & Water:  support with energy bills for any form of fuel that is used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking or lighting, including oil or portable gas cylinders. It can also be used to support with water bills including for drinking, washing, cooking, and sanitary purposes and sewerage – limited to £100 per household.
  • Essentials linked to energy & water:  Assistance can be provided with essentials linked to energy & water including, but not limited to, sanitary products, warm clothing, soap, blankets, boiler service/repair, purchase of equipment including fridges, freezers, ovens, etc. (where this cannot be sourced through other provision) - limited to £50 per person in each household
 Only one award can be granted per household per month.
 
Applicants can also apply for one off payments in exceptional circumstances for the categories below, where all other avenues of support have been considered and/or exhausted. All awards will require sign off from the Director of Place or a delegated senior manager.  Additional information and evidence will also be requested and will take additional time to assess. These categories are:
 
  • Wider essentials: This may include support with other bills including broadband or phone bills and essential transport related costs such as repairing a car, buying a bicycle or paying for fuel. 
  • Household Costs: In exceptional cases of genuine emergency a request can be made to support housing costs where existing housing support schemes do not meet the exceptional need.  This cannot be used to provide mortgage support under the guidance set by DWP.
 

16. The scheme will operate on a first come, first serve basis until all funding is fully utilised and exhausted, to ensure the Council does not overspend on its allocated funding from Government.  

17.Applications for the grant can be made via the application form available at www.tameside.gov.uk/householdsupportfund.

Proposed timeline for the grant scheme

18. The timeline for the scheme is:
  • Applications open 22 June 2022
  • Payment of grants – From 29 June 2022 awarded and paid out on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Final payments made on or before 30/09/2022.
 
Other information

19. Grant income received by a resident is taxable.  The Household Support Fund will need to be included as income in the recipient resident’s tax return.  

20 The Government and the Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any resident caught falsifying their records, or evidence of need to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.  

21. All data submitted in relation to an application for this scheme will be shared across departments of Tameside Council, National Government and approved suppliers of anti-fraud services, for the purposes of preventing fraud, in line with GDPR regulations.    

22.The Council does not accept any liability for any issues that may arise for residents because of applying for, receiving, or not receiving grant payments under this scheme.  

23.Enquiries about the scheme can be emailed to  householdsupportfund@tameside.gov.uk