Thousands of households could get up to £180 free money to help with rising cost of living, soaring food and energy bills

HARD-UP households could get up to £180 in free money to help with soaring bills as the cost of living crisis hits hard.

Thousands of families and retirees are being dogged by skyrocketing energy bills and facing exorbitant costs on supermarket shelves.

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Families and pensioners could get up to £180 in helpCredit: Getty

Rising inflation has driven up the price of everything, so many consumers are worried about how they will cough up the funds for the next bill at the door.

The government has, however, injected extra money into the Household Support Fund this year, to help ease the pressure felt by some bill payers, with many cash grants on offer.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has added a further £500m to the pot so more low-income families and households can benefit.

This money has been distributed to local councils, whose decision is to allocate money to those who need it most.

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A council has decided to distribute part of its funds to vulnerable families and pensioners.

Cornwall Council has a total of £4.5m to distribute.

It was therefore decided to pay around 16,500 pensioners living in the area a one-off payment of £100.

At the same time, the council is also paying around 15,500 families eligible for free school meals a one-time payment of £80 per child.

Any multi-generational household could then be in line for help of up to £180.

The council released details of the funding in a statement yesterday, so exactly how you can claim the money has yet to be fully defined.

But he confirmed that pensioners waiting for the £100 will be sent a letter with a code allowing them to receive the cash payment at the nearest post office.

Meanwhile, parents and guardians will have to sit tight for details on applying for their £80 release – but to qualify your child must already be receiving free school meals.

Typically, however, the money can be used to cover grocery bills, utility bills and more.

The latest round of funding saw Barnsley residents queuing for up to £200 in vouchers to spend at supermarkets and stores like Aldi, Asda, Argos and Currys, for example.

And North Yorkshire residents were able to claim a £125 voucher to help pay for food and other essentials, in the first round of the scheme as well.

This time around, those in the Norfolk area can get £120 in food vouchers to cover children’s meals, with the council’s latest handout.

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

Each board offers something different and eligibility rules may vary as well.

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Check with your local authority to see if you can apply and find out how much you might be entitled to.

But be aware that while many have already started handing out their own Household Support Fund grants, some cities may be waiting until September to claim them.

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Christy J. Olson