Thousands of households can get up to £98 to cover soaring energy bills

THOUSANDS of households could find their wallets up to £98 heavier thanks to cash support designed to help with the soaring price of energy.

One council is giving out one-off payments to pensioners and families with children in school, to help them cover the costs of their stacking bills.

The money has come from the massive 500 million pot of the Household Support Fund.

The government-backed scheme saw a recent shake-up that meant more households could be eligible for support as they battle the cost of living crisis.

Last month energy bills soared by 54%, bringing the average annual price a household has to fork out for, to £1,971.

It's because the price cap went up on April 1, adding £693 on average to about 18 million household's standard tariff bills across the country.

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Bill-payers aren't in the clear yet though, as a further increase to the cap could come later in the year too, when energy bills may rise ANOTHER £600.

The regulator, Ofgem, has introduced plans to make price cap updates more frequent too, which only means families will be expected to fork out higher costs even sooner.

An energy bill rebate worth £200 is on the way later in the year designed to help, but it has to be paid back.

So savings experts like Martin Lewis have slammed it for not providing enough help for those struggling.

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Reading Borough Council instead, is stepping in by helping its residents curb the rocketing costs with free cash grants.

Under the council's plans, energy vouchers worth £49 each will be sent to around 4,000 families in the area with school-age children.

The households have to have children already receiving free school meals to be eligible for the grant though.

And per its terms, only one payment will be issued per family from the council's £1,130,648 total support.

Meanwhile, vulnerable elderly residents will benefit from their own payout from the council.

Energy vouchers worth £98 per individual will be sent to around 4,300 state pension claimants.

The older group will also be eligible for the almost £100 cash payment if they are on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme too, or are in receipt of pension credit.

All those eligible should be written to directly with details of how to claim their support.

But you can also apply for the Household Support Fund support on the West Berkshire website if you live further out.

And if you don't live in the area at all, you don't need to miss out either.

The Household Support Fund is rolling out nationwide until September this year.

Money from the fund has been dished out to local councils, whose decision it is to allocate help to those that need it most.

Each council offers up something different, and eligibility rules can vary too.

It's best to check in with your own local authority to find out what may be up for grabs as well as how you can apply.

Anyone living in Cornwall for example, could claim up to £180 in support.

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Meanwhile, those in the Norfolk area can get £120 in food vouchers to cover meals for kids, with the council's latest hand-out.

And parents in Brighton and Hove could get £105 to cover essentials over the school breaks this May and throughout the summer this year.

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