Hard-up Brits can apply for FREE cash grants to help with food, clothing and bills this winter – how to get it

HARD-up Brits can apply for FREE cash grants to help pay for food, clothing and bills this winter.

The government has launched a £500million Household Support Fund to help struggling families buy household essentials.

Households will be able to apply for the cash through their local councils, who will get the funds to dish out in October.

The help will replace the Covid local support grant – where families could get up to £1,500 to pay for food, bills and more.

The government hasn't revealed whether you can claim as much as £1,500, or potentially get more, under the new scheme.

It confirmed to The Sun that it is up to each council to decide how much cash each family could get – and how they apply for the help.

We've asked for more information and we will update this article as soon as we know more.

To find out who your local council is in order to put in a claim, head to gov.uk's local council finder tool.

If information about the scheme is not yet listed on your local authority's website, it's best to ring or email for more information.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Everyone should be able to afford the essentials, and we are committed to ensuring that is the case.

"Our new Household Support Fund will provide a lifeline for those at risk of struggling to keep up with their bills over the winter, adding to the support the government is already providing to help people with the cost of living."

It comes as the £20 uplift to Universal Credit is axed this week, leaving cash-strapped households worried about how to get by.

The cut will push 2.3million people into debt after paying their bills, according to research from Citizens Advice.

It comes as energy bills are set to rise by a record £139 from October from £1,138 to £1,277, when Ofgem raises the price cap in a further blow to family finances.

The price cap means the amount that households on default tariffs pay for their gas and electricity is limited.

But a string of energy supplier collapses could mean that millions of customers face paying £400 more to new suppliers taking over their contracts this winter.

Here's seven things to know about the Universal Credit £20 uplift cut, and Martin Lewis explains what to do about rising energy bills.

One mum says she is scared to turn the heating on as the Universal Credit cut looms.

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