Household Support Fund: Unpaid Carers
After receiving cabinet approval on 27th June 2023, the Household Support Fund Round 4 is being made available to ease the financial burdens faced by its vulnerable citizens living in Birmingham.
The Household Support Fund (HSF) provided by the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions, is a fixed amount of money available to the Local Authority to be used to support those households in most need, with essentials such as food, energy and essential goods and supplies including water. The Fund is intended to cover a wide range of low-income households in need including families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people. For more information on the cost-of-living crisis please check the Government’s Cost of Living Hub.
Unpaid Carers are a priority group for the HSF in Birmingham given that people with caring responsibilities face acute challenges incurred through their fulfilling these responsibilities for vulnerable citizens. Carers are disproportionately impacted on by rising costs such as additional heating, water and transport costs.
Who is eligible?
- You must be a Birmingham resident, registered with Birmingham Carers Hub before Feb 2023
- You are living in the same household as the person you care for
- You have health needs and provide over 50 hrs plus care per week
- You are experiencing hardship, particularly with regards to covering food, energy, transport and other associated caring costs.
What happens next?
Between September and December 2023, Birmingham Carers Hub will be contacting eligible Carers direct (via email and/or letter) to arrange a one-off payment of £400. You will need to reply as instructed to confirm eligibility as outlined above, along with bank details for payment. In addition, we will need to know how you will intend to spend the fund, eligible areas include: Energy and water; Food; Essentials linked to energy and Water; Wider Essentials.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough funds to support all registered Carers in Birmingham. If you do not meet the criteria outlined above, and if you are likely to face financial hardship in relation to food costs and energy payments, then you can apply to the Hardship Grant Community Fund, more details are here: https://www.bvsc.org/hsf
Eligible spend includes:
- Energy and water. This includes for domestic heating, cooking, or lighting costs, as well as for water.
- Food. The Fund can be used to provide support with food, whether in kind or through vouchers or cash.
- Essentials linked to energy and water. For example warm clothing, blankets, the purchase of equipment such as fridges, freezers, ovens, slow cookers, in recognition that a range of costs may arise which directly affect a household’s ability to afford or access energy, food and water. For the repair or replacement of white goods and appliances with more energy efficient ones. To invest in energy efficiency measures which will pay back quickly, such as insulating a hot water tank, fitting draft excluders to a front door, or replacing inefficient lightbulbs or white goods.
- Wider essentials. These may include, but are not limited to, support with other bills including broadband or phone bills, clothing, period and hygiene products, essential transport-related costs such as repairing a car, buying a bicycle, or paying for fuel.
Support which can make a quick but sustainable impact on energy costs is particularly encouraged; for example, the insulation of hot water tanks, fitting draft excluders to a door, or replacing inefficient lightbulbs or white goods. The Fund can also be used to support households with the cost of food and water bills, essential costs related to energy, food and water, and with wider essential costs.