Benefits Advice

Benefits Advice General Information

The Government’s Welfare Reform Programme is the biggest change to the welfare system in at least 60 years. The main stated aim is to reduce benefit dependency and ‘make work pay’ for more people… it will also save the government around £18 billion per year by 2014-2015.

The Government’s Welfare Reform Programme is the biggest change to the welfare system in at least 60 years. The main stated aim is to reduce benefit dependency and ‘make work pay’ for more people… it will also save the government around £18 billion per year by 2014-2015.

The majority of changes will impact on people of working age, with pensioners being exempt from the many of the reforms – especially from those contained in the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

The information here is intended to provide you with details about changes that have happened or will happen to benefit and tax credit entitlements.

Some of these changes have already been introduced but others are still to be agreed and developed further.  To read more go to Sunderland Council

From April 2013 a limit was put on the amount of benefit that people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a benefit cap. The benefit cap means that people should not get more in benefit payments than the average wage paid to people in work.

The Direct Gov website now includes a benefit cap calculator to find out if the benefit cap will apply to you.

Access it here – it takes a few minutes to complete.

To answer the questions you’ll need information about the amount of weekly award for each benefit or allowance you or someone in your household gets.

Rethink have produced a pack to help you to get through benefits changes….. Everything from the bedroom tax to the end of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), crisis loans to Universal Credit seems to be happening in April.
Click here to read more!

Your Guide to Personal Budgets – Personal budgets give people greater control over the support they get.

People with a mental health condition can use a personal budget, which is money from the local authority (or council), to pay for social care services and support.

Rethink have developed a range of guides for:

Guides for People Using Mental Health Services
Guide for Carers / Families
Guides for Mental Health Workers

Click here to access them! 

If you are aged 60 or over, you could be entitled to benefits that you haven’t been able to claim before.  These can help keep your independence and improve your standard of living helping you with housing costs, care needs and general expenses.
So it well worth reading their More Money in Your Pocket publication.

The Age UK website has a wealth of useful guides and factsheets aimed at keeping you informed on information surrounding money matters. Guides are short and easy to digest giving a comprehensive overview of a subject. Factsheets are longer, more detailed and aimed at professionals.  Access them here!

 

Choose an area for local support information
Benefits Advice in South Tyneside

Direct payments are local council payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local council. A person must be able to give their consent to getting direct payments and manage them, even if they need daily help to do this.

Click here to access more information from gov.uk or read more from South Tyneside Council.

People with a mental health condition can use a personal budget, which is money from the local authority (or council), to pay for social care services and support.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helpline:
Telephone: 0845 850 3322
Textphone: 0845 601 6677 – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Take advantage of our free, confidential and impartial advice for the over 50s.

Age Concern
29 Beach Road
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE33 2QU
Phone: 0191 456 6903

Email: info@ac-ts.org.uk

Click here for more information.

The Citizens Advice service aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

The service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. To contact your local Citizens Advice Service visit  www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Citizens Advice Bureau
2nd floor, Edinburgh Buildings
Station Approach
South Shields
NE33 1HR

Phone: 0844 499 4715

Citizens Advice Bureau
8 Grange Road West
Jarrow
NE32 3HX

Phone: 0844 499 4715

Welfare rights offer advice and guidance on available benefits and financial matters.

Welfare Rights
South Tyneside Council
Town Hall & Civic Offices
Westoe Road
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE33 2RL

Phone: 0191 424 6040
Email: welfarerights@southtyneside.gov.uk

Home visit are offered to housebound and elderly people.

For information on free school meal entitlement click here!

Benefits Advice in Sunderland

Look are entitlement and how to claim a number of different benefits click here!

Universal Credit is a new benefit for single people, couples and families who are on low incomes, unemployed, sick, disabled or caring for someone. Read more about Universal Credit here! 
To access information about making your Universal Credit Claim click here

Sunderland City Council funds two local advice providers – Shiney Advice and Resource Project and Sunderland West Advice Project – to ensure you can access advice and guidance on welfare benefit issues, debt and prevention of homelessness.

They also have information on a number of other services across the city that can offer advice, information and support – Click here!

Click here for information on free school meal entitlement for those living in the City of Sunderland.

The MS Society Sunderland and District Branch are now providing a Benefits Advice Service, in partnership with Age UK Sunderland, to anyone with MS and

their carers, in the Sunderland area. Trained advice workers are available to help explain the benefits system, check what your entitlements are, help you fill in relevant forms, guide you through the process and signpost you to other areas of specialist support and advice.

To find out more call Marion at the branch on 0191 9089266

Sunderland Advice Service can provide help and advice for those living in the Redhill, Castle, Southwick, Fulwell, St Peter’s, Millfield, Hendon, St Michael’s, Doxford, Ryhope and Washington wards about:

Debt
Housing
Employment
Welfare Benefits

Appointments are available in the Bradbury Centre or in other centres across the City. Home visits are available for individuals who are unable to attend the office due to health or mobility issues.

For more information visit the website: www.sunderlandadviceservice.co.uk or telephone 0191 567 4649.

Gentoo tenants can contact 0300 123 2004.

There is not a drop-in service available and appointments must be arranged.

Contact – Telephone Main contact: 0191 567 4649, Email:  enquiries@sunderlandadviceservice.co.uk

Click here to find information from Sunderland City Council on what you can claim, how you can claim and where to claim benefits and tax credits. This is also help so that you can deal with common benefit problems and links to claim forms. All information is arranaged by simple lient groups.

Click here to access information from Sunderland City Council about what benefit decisions can be challenged including how to appeal and the timescales for doing this. There is information on what actions will lead to benefit sanctions and what you can do if this happens

Housing and Council Tax Benefit Form
Click here to make secure online claims for  Sunderland Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit (or Local Council Tax Support). The form guides you through the process, highlighting any error or anything you may have missed.

Click here – You can use these tools to check and claim your means tested benefit and tax credits entitlements and also a number of non means tested sickness, disabilityness, disability or bereavement benefits.

If you qualify for support you will be allocated a personal budget by the council.
A personal budget is the amount of money we think you need to meet your needs. Sunderland City Council will always tell you how much your personal budget is.

How do personal budgets work?  Click here! 

Direct payments are local council payments for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local council. A person must be able to give their consent to getting direct payments and manage them, even if they need daily help to do this.

Click here to access more information from gov.uk or read more from Sunderland City Council.

Age UK Sunderland provide information and support  on a wide range of benefit, debt, employment and housing related issues. Please do not hesitate to contact their benefits advice team for more information.

The Citizens Advice service aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

The service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. To contact your local Citizens Advice Service visit  www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Citizens Advice Sunderland
Sunderland Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent charity which offers free, confidential and impartial advice to everyone in the local community. They offer advice and information on everything from welfare benefits, housing and debt problems to consumer and employment rights.  www.adviceguide.org.uk  provides self help information on credit and debt and how to deal with people that you owe money to.

Gingerbread is an organisation that provides advice and support for single parents. Their website contains lots of useful information as well as providing training.

Gingerbread have recently updated the following factsheets for single parents on income support, jobseekers allowance and other benefits:

Claiming income support and other benefits – visit: http://digbig.com/5bghry
Claiming jobseekers allowance and other benefits – visit: http://digbig.com/5bghsa
Tax credits and when your circumstances change – visit: http://digbig.com/5bghsb

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