Apply for the Household Support Fund
There are 2 routes to apply for the new Household Support Fund 4 (HSF 4):
- if you receive a letter saying you are eligible for the HSF 4, you should make an invitation application
- if you have not received an invitation letter by the end of January 2024 and are struggling to meet your household bills, you should make a discretionary application
Generally customer may only receive payment through one application route unless there are exceptional circumstances.
See information on offline applications for those who cannot use digital services.
The invitation letters were sent out mid-January 2024
The application window for invitation applications closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 4 February 2024.
Use the link provided in your letter to apply.
Payments will be made directly to the bank account provided after the closing date and by the end of February 2024. You will be notified when your payments are on the way to your account.
Customers who recently received a HSF4 invitation payment will be paid automatically and do not need to apply again.
We understand the effects of the rise in the cost of living are far reaching. You may be able to get further support. See more information about available benefits advice.
Discretionary scheme applications
Residents who have not received an invitation letter by the end of May and are struggling to meet their household bills can apply directly for a grant.
The discretionary HSF 4 will be open from Monday 5 June 2023, and will close at midnight on 31 March 2024.
To be considered you must require urgent financial assistance and not have enough income or savings to meet the eligible costs the scheme can help with.
This application involves a standard means test around your current circumstances and the assistance needed to pay essential bills.
We'll need to establish why you are applying for financial support. To assess your application we need to ask you about your personal circumstances in depth to make sure that you are seeking all necessary support.
It is vital you collect the following information beforehand, as you may get timed out if you spend more than 10 minutes on a single page of the form.
We will need to ask you for information and evidence:
- your household details
- your household income, savings, and expenditure, including
- earnings (including your partners if applicable)
- DWP benefits
- any other income
- your capital, including
- readily available funds - cash in hand, in the bank or building society accounts
- shares or bonds owned
- your household expenditure, including
- council tax
- rent or mortgage
- household bills, such as gas, electricity, water
- personal bills, such as telephone, travel costs, clothing
- Child Support or maintenance payments
- school meals
- outstanding debts and arrears, including
- rent arrears
- mortgage arrears
- council tax arrears
- unpaid bills
- other fuel costs
- credit/store cards/catalogue debts/loans
Find out more about help uploading documents, or alternatives if you're unable to.
Please be aware that our system will 'time-out' after 10 minutes spent on each page of the application. We strongly suggest you gather the required information and prepare copies of digital documents ahead of completing the form, as it's not possible to save a partially completed form, nor to retrieve information if the time-out period is reached.
For some applications we'll need to see evidence you are liable for costs and the amounts owed, and how your utilities are paid for such as, pre-payment meter, monthly Direct Debit, quarterly.
This additional evidence will be required if you're applying for assistance with:
- energy bills - electricity, gas, oil
- water bills, including sewerage
- mobile phone and internet connection/data bills
- other exceptional emergency costs
Payments will be made depending on family size or according to any other essentials which will be assessed on a discretionary basis.
If applicants don't have access to the internet or need help making an application online, our customer service team can complete the online application over the phone on the applicant's behalf by calling telephone: 01904 551550.
Our advice and support workers can also complete applications on behalf of residents.
If you're not seeking the support you need, we'll suggest agencies that may be able to help you. For example this could be getting you some advice and help on how to prepare an income and expenditure budget or by helping you to access more specialist agencies such as, for example, the StepChange debt charity.
Offline applications for those who cannot use digital services
If you have friends or family members that can help you with the digital form, they can help you submit your details.
The form can be completed on a smartphone, but if you don't have access to a computer or smartphone, you're welcome to use the self-service computer facilities that are available at your local Explore Library or in our Customer Centre at West Offices in the city centre.
You don't need to make an appointment to use these computers; library computers can be used for up to 2 hours a day for free with a library card number and PIN number. See further information about using public computers on the Explore York website.
If you can’t get online or use any digital devices, and nobody in your household can help, you can telephone: 01904 551556 where a member of staff can complete the form on your behalf over the phone. Please make sure you have all the information required to hand, including details of income and circumstances. If you're unable to upload the documents needed to you can send the information by email to HSF@york.gov.uk or by post or in person to Benefits Team, West Offices, Station Rise, York YO1 6GA.
Citizens Advice York can provide support to complete an offline application. Telephone: 0808 278 7895. The adviceline is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Thursday (excluding bank holidays and Christmas). Alternatively, request a call back or appointment. There are drop-ins on Mondays from 10.00am to 2.00pm. Citizens Advice York are located at City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, YO1 6GD. No appointment is needed.
Community support sessions are also available where people can get assistance to make applications. Live Well York's events calendar has details of local community outreach advice and support services.
Please make sure you only give your personal details to someone you know you can trust, or through one of these recommended support services. There have been reports of scammers pretending to represent local councils to get access to bank details from customers.