Thousands of families can get nearly £600 to help pay for energy bills and food – are you eligible?

THOUSANDS of families could get nearly £600 in cash and vouchers to help them pay for energy bills and food as costs soar.

Struggling households can apply for help to get by through their local council, whohave budgets to give out free cash, food vouchers and more this winter.

Local authorities across the country were given a combined £500 million in help to dish out as part of the Household Support Fund.

Families will need to apply for the help, but the help you could get will vary depending on where you live.

This is because each council decides how to dish out its funds – and will have its own application process in place.

In most cases, councils have until March 31 to spend its pot of funding.

It's better to put your claim in as soon as possible, as funds may have been used up before then.

The Sun has spotted Rother District Council is offering up to £250 in help to hard-up households to help with their utility bills.

You could also get free food vouchers too to make sure no one goes hungry this winter.

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You can get a four-week bundle of vouchers – £15 per week for each child, and £25 per week for each adult.

That means a family of four could get £320 over the month to help pay for food.

That means a family of four could get £570 – nearly £600 – in vouchers and cash in total.

To be eligible, you must live in Rother and receive benefits, such as Universal Credit.

Money will be transferred into your bank account if you need help with energy bills, while you can get vouchers to spend in supermarkets if you need help with grocery costs.

You can apply for the help on Rother District Council's website.

If you live in a different council catchment area, then the help you can get may differ.

You can check who your local council is using this tool to ask yours for more information on the scheme.

For example, Runnymede Council is giving up to £800 to help residents with the cost of food, heating an essential repairs.

And those living in the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council catchment area could get £120 towards essential costs.

The Sun has rounded up a what help is available in various different regions under the scheme.

If you don’t qualify for free cash from the fund, you may be able to get help elsewhere to tackle rocketing winter prices. 

You may even be able to apply for help from your energy company if you find you can’t cope.

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