Don’t miss out on financial support – that’s the message from Portsmouth City Council to local people on lower incomes.

The council has supermarket vouchers and special payments available to eligible people who are struggling with the cost of living.

But time is running out for people to apply for the help.

The council has two household support schemes open at the moment, both due to end on 24 November.

One scheme is aimed at lower-income families with children who didn’t qualify for a voucher from a school this summer. Families expecting a baby in less than 20 weeks can also apply. Their total household take-home pay, in the month before applying, needs to be £1,350 or less.

They could get a £70 supermarket voucher for each eligible child. There will be a chance to apply for another voucher, this time worth £80, this winter.

A second scheme is aimed at people who missed out on the autumn 2022 and spring 2023 cost of living payments from the government. It’s open to households who first claimed a means-tested benefit after 26 September 2022, or who get housing benefit and no other means-tested income benefit. They could qualify for a £120 cost of living payment.

See more details about these schemes and apply online.

If you’re unable to complete an online application you can apply by phone by calling the council’s household support fund helpline, 023 9268 8010.

If you need help applying, you can contact Advice Portsmouth on 023 9279 4340 or (if you’re a council tenant) your area housing office.

A third scheme, to be launched later this year, will be aimed at people below state pension age who get disability living allowance or personal independence payments. They could qualify for £150 to help with energy costs. This scheme is not yet open for applications, but you can go to our household support page and leave your email address to be notified when it starts.

Household support funding is given to local councils by the government so they can support their most vulnerable residents with essential daily costs, such as food and energy.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of the Council, said: “It’s really important that people check if they’re eligible for this help. It could make a difference, especially before Christmas.

“Under government rules, people have to apply. Please take a look at our website and see if you qualify.”

The council is also using household support funding to give more people access to home energy advice visits.  To find out how to save energy and money, residents can visit Switched on Portsmouth or call the freephone helpline on 0800 260 5907.

It is also providing funding for local organisations that are supporting people with the cost of living, including foodbanks and community pantries.

To find cost of living advice and help, you can go to the council’s cost of living hub – a one-stop source of local advice and support. It has information on topics including food, housing, energy bills, warm spaces, saving money and wellbeing.  Or if you need to talk to someone, you can call 023 9284 1047 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday or 9am to 4.30pm Friday.