Low income household will once again be able to apply for financial support as a council scheme reopens.

Round four of the Household Support Fund (HSF) is set to reopen for applications at 10am on Wednesday, January 3, for households in the Dorset Council area.

The government scheme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and provides support for residents in the form of supermarket vouchers that are worth £150.

Citizens Advice will be allocating this fund on behalf of the council and the vouchers will be issued to residents who meet the eligibility criteria within six to eight weeks.

Households will be able to apply if they have an annual household income of less than £30,000, savings of less than £16,000 and have not applied for a previous HSF payment within the last six months.

Calculations for the annual net income should not include personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance or Child Benefit and applications are limited to just one household.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council portfolio holder for culture, communities and customer service said: “ Christmas can be an expensive time for all of us and it’s important to try and start the new year off well.

“If you are currently struggling with the cost of living challenge, this initiative may help you  as it offers supermarket vouchers to help with essentials.

“If you are applying in this window , please make sure you have not applied for a previous HSF payment since July 2023 as further vouchers cannot be issued and there are a very limited number of applications available for this window.

“If you do miss out on this window, another will open on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 10am.”

The final window available for this round of the fund will be on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

Residents should apply online at www.dorset council.gov/household-support-fund.

If you need help completing the form, you can telephone customer services on 01305 221000 or visit a customer access point.

For further information on all the support available, whether that be access to fodo, money and debt advice or support with your household bills visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/cost-of-living-help.