On behalf of Manchester City Council, we have been asked to urgently remind Southway customers who receive Council Tax Support that they were sent a cheque two weeks before Christmas from the authority's Household Support Fund.

The payment -  £100 for households with children and £70 for couples and single people - is part of a Government-funded support scheme for households on low incomes, to help with their bills over the winter. The scheme covers working-age and older people.

Manchester City Council has now extended the deadline but tenants are still urgently reminded that they have until close of business on MONDAY 31st JANUARY to pay their cheque into their bank account, or else they will lose out on this money.

If you are aware of anyone who you think might receive Council Tax Support and who may have not yet opened their letter or cashed their cheque, then please also encourage them to act quickly before they miss out.

What if I don't have a bank account or I am heavily overdrawn? Or I can't pay my cheque in for any other reason?

Manchester City Council has the ability to arrange alternative provision but only in very limited, exceptional circumstances. The council expects the vast majority of people to simply pay the cheque into their accounts.

If you cannot do this for any reason, then contact the council's Housing Support Fund team directly and as soon as possible, by calling 0161 234 5678 or emailing hhsupportcheques@manchester.gov.uk 

People whose accounts are overdrawn can request this payment is set aside for certain household bills. Speak to your bank or the council at the above number for more information

Additional Help from Southway with your bills and your money

We understand that the post-Christmas and New Year period can be very challenging financially for many tenants. But we are here to help.

Southway offers a wide range of information, advice and support on managing your money.

If you are having trouble paying your fuel bills in particular, then our expert Energy Buddies can give you free, impartial, specialist and individual support on how to reduce your bills and stay warm this winter.