NHS Healthy Start card: Hundreds of eligible families in Dacorum missing out on help to buy food

Families in Dacorum can get NHS vouchers to buy healthy food and milk for their children or to help through pregnancies.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 5:15 pm

Local families are being urged to check to see if they are entitled to vouchers from the NHS, as figures show that more than 300 families in Dacorum are not claiming.

As people feel the pinch with the cost of living crisis, families can get vouchers to help pay for milk, fruit and vegetables for children and mums going through pregnancies.

The latest figures for the borough show that in March, 331 families were not claiming the NHS Healthy Start card that they are entitled to.

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The card can be used to buy plain liquid cow’s milk and infant formula milk.

Despite the 70% uptake in the scheme, Dacorum families are missing out on an estimated £73,200.

This comes as the prices of essential items continues to soar, with inflation predicted to rise to 11% this year, according to the Bank of England.

Across England, 143,212 families are missing out on an estimated £31,649,852 yearly.

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Families can use the card to buy fruit, vegetables and pulses.

The digital card can be used to buy plain liquid cow’s milk; infant formula milk based on cow’s milk; fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables and fresh, dried, and tinned pulses.

The new Healthy Start card, which has replaced paper vouchers, can be used in any shop that accepts Mastercard.

People can apply if they are receiving Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit.

If people do not reapply for the new Healthy Start scheme online, the benefit for individuals and their children will stop.

Families can still use the paper vouchers until the expiry date printed on them.

For Universal Credit recipients, they must be at least ten weeks pregnant or have at least one child under four years old and the family’s monthly ‘take-home pay for this period’ is £408 or less from employment.

Those on Child Tax Credit can apply if they have at least one child under four years old and the family’s annual income is £16,190 or less.

To apply people will need their name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number, the baby’s due date (if you’re pregnant) and a benefit award letter if they are over 18.

The card can only be used in-store and its balance can be checked at an ATM.