Cost-of-living support extended for low income households this winter
Financial support is being extended to help low income households across the Borough this winter.
The support from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is focused on helping with energy costs, the rising cost of food, bills and other household expenditures.
And the money will be staggered over the coming months to help reach those households most in need.
The money is available thanks to extra funding from the Government's Household Support Fund (HSF).
Who is eligible for support?
The new HSF, extended to 31 March 2024, is being offered this winter in the following ways:
Support for all households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction
If you are eligible for Council Tax Reduction you will be contacted by the Council with a voucher worth £80 to be used to help pay energy costs. The voucher is exchangeable for money at any PayPoint outlet.
Winter vouchers will be distributed to all working age households entitled to Council Tax Reduction during the first two weeks in December. These vouchers must be exchanged by 18 February.
Residents who are pensionable age and entitled to Council Tax Reduction will receive their vouchers in the first two weeks of January. These vouchers must be exchanged by 29 February.
The vouchers will be sent automatically, so if you receive Council Tax Reduction there is no need to apply.
Summer vouchers, distributed in June and July, can still be exchanged up until 31 December 2023.
Support for those who don't get Council Tax Reduction
Payments of £300 are available to low-income, energy paying households who do not receive Council Tax Reduction and do not benefit from the Government's Cost of Living support payments.
Households can check if they are eligible for this discretionary support to help pay their energy costs through our online application process via the Household Support Fund web page.
Support for people accessing the 'Back on Track' scheme
The funding will also be used to supplement the Council's Back on Track which offers crisis support in the form of goods and services.
What do Councillors think?
Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of the Council, said: "We welcome this extra funding which will allow us to support as many people in the Borough as we possibly can who are struggling with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
"The Household Support Fund has been vital for many families and I'm proud of everything we've been able to deliver over the past two years to help those most in need with their food and energy bills through vouchers, food banks and much more.
"And of course if you do not receive Council Tax reduction then you could still access help via the Back on Track scheme or by applying to see if you could be eligible for a £300 support payment.
"We want to make sure our residents are aware of all the help and support available. Visit the Council's Here to Help support page to access a 'one stop shop' with all of the support services available including energy saving schemes, welfare assistance, food banks as well as health, housing and employment advice."
To find out more on the Household Support Fund, visit the Household Support Fund web page.
You can also email email@example.com