Sandwell Council announces £3.4million cost of living boost for residents
Published 16th June 2022
Sandwell Council will distribute £3.4million to pensioners on low incomes and families with children as the cost of living continues to rise.
Children who get free school meals will receive food vouchers worth £15 each week over the six-week summer holiday, the council has confirmed.
And pensioners on low incomes will receive a £110 assistance payment, while a further £180,000 will be invested in helping households in crisis.
The council’s £3.4million commitment, which is funded by the Household Support Fund, will see more than 30,000 Sandwell households receive financial help.
Councillor Bob Piper, Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council and cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “At the council we’re doing all we can to help people struggling during these very difficult times.
“We’re helping families to feed their children with almost £2million of food vouchers over the recent Spring half-term and the summer holidays, and we’ll be making £110 payments to more than 11,500 Sandwell pensioners on a low income worth £1.27million.
“We’ll also make some of this money available to support people moving into new homes who need help with furniture, or for people who need a crisis payment for fuel, food or travel,” he added.
Councillor Piper reminded anyone living in a Council Tax Band A-D property to apply for their £150 Energy Bills Rebate if they haven’t already.
“If you live in a Band A to D property and you haven’t applied for your £150 rebate, please make sure you do that very soon. There are many people who haven’t applied yet. We’ve already paid out to more than 86,000 households, and we’re working through other applications,” he said.
“We know it’s not just people on the very lowest incomes who are struggling, so we’re doing all we can to help people regardless of their circumstances. Everyone is feeling the pinch.”
Councillor Piper also urged all households to check they were claiming any support or help they were entitled to, including Pension Credit. To claim Pension Credit, you must have reached state pension age and have a low income.
You can find help and advice from the council and other organisations, including claiming Pension Credit, on our Cost of Living Help webpages.
Anyone who lives in a Band A-D property who hasn’t already applied for the £150 Energy Bills Rebate is reminded to fill in the online form as soon as possible.
The Household Support Fund is money given to councils by the Government to help people in need of financial support.
Sandwell Council has received £3.4million to help residents between April and September 2022.
How it will be spent:
- Food vouchers worth £1.98million will be distributed to just over 18,900 eligible children who get Free School Meals over the six-week summer holiday starting in July – plus those issued for the half-term spring break last week.
- Pensioners who receive Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Benefit) will receive a £110 payment to help with bills. Residents aged 65+ who are eligible will receive a letter from the council which should be taken to a Post Office branch where the payment can be claimed. There is no application process for this funding, letters will be sent to anyone eligible.
- A further £180,000 will be invested in the council’s Local Welfare Provision Fund which supports people in crisis to pay for fuel, food, travel and furniture.