Over 150,000 families miss supermarket vouchers worth £442 a year – how to claim


THOUSANDS of cash-strapped families are missing out on supermarket vouchers worth up to £442 a year.

The Healthy Start program offers low-income parents and expectant mothers extra help with paying for food.


Healthy Start vouchers could be worth up to £442 a yearCredit: Getty

The program provides coupons to help low-income families with young children buy milk, vegetables, fruits, pulses and vitamins.

The value of a voucher is £4.25 per week for pregnant parents and those with children aged one to four.

If you have a child under one you can claim up to £8.50 per week.

This brings your maximum total to £442 per year if you claim Healthy Start vouchers.

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But up to 155,000 families are not claiming these vouchers even if they are eligible, reports NationalWorld.

Tens of thousands of households do not realize they are eligible for the extra aid.

But with millions of people struggling with a crippling cost of living crisis, it’s essential to seek all the help you can get.

Grocery prices have soared in recent months – shoppers were outraged this week to find a packet of Lurpark butter had fetched over £7.

Whole milk prices in the UK were up 12.2% in April from a year ago, according to the latest figures.

But the Healthy Start scheme has come under fire this year, after the system switched from physical vouchers to prepaid cards.

The change caused chaos and frustration as shoppers’ vouchers were declined at checkout.

Previously, paper vouchers could be used in a wide variety of stores – but not in all local stores, supermarkets or chemists for vitamins.

But the new card is supposed to work anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

How can I apply?

You can apply for Healthy Start vouchers via the NHS online application form on their website.

You can also ask your midwife for the form.

Alternatively, you can download an application form from the Healthy Start website, print it, fill it out and send it to:

Freepost RRTR-SYAE-JKCR, Healthy Start Delivery Unit, PO Box 1067, Warrington, WA55 1EG.

If you don’t have a printer, you can call the Healthy Start Helpline on 0345 607 6823 and have a form sent to you.

If you are eligible, you will receive a Healthy Start card containing cash which you can use in selected UK stores.

The amount to which you are entitled will be added to the card every four weeks.

But you will need to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements before applying.

To be eligible for the program, you must be more than 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under the age of four.

You must also have one of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Income Support Benefit
  • Tax credit for child with family income of £16,190 or less per year
  • Pension credit
  • Universal credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family.

If you are under 18 and pregnant, you may still qualify for vouchers.

What help can I get if I am not eligible?

Don’t worry if you are not eligible for the scheme. There are plenty of other ways to get a helping hand amid the cost of living crisis.

For example, the Household Support Fund helps low-income people pay for basic necessities and bills.

What you get depends on which area of ​​the council you are in, as they all give money in different ways.

For example, Birmingham lends £200 free cash to help pay for food and bills.

To check if you are eligible and what you might get, call your local council.

There are also other schemes available – British Gas has opened its hardship fund which could give you £1,000 towards your energy bills.

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Also, you can use an online benefit calculator to make sure you don’t miss out on extra cash.

Likewise, you can look for grants that can help you pay gas and electricity bills.

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