Cost of Living and welcoming places

Overview

Support from the Council

Information on the Household Support Fund, Welfare Support Service, and support through the Local Welfare Provision Scheme


Welfare Support Service

The Welfare Support Service is the first point of contact for money advice in South Tyneside.

They provide debt, benefit and money advice on the phone, in your local area or if necessary, in your home.

The service is free, impartial and confidential.

Welfare Support Service


Household Support Fund

The Department for Work and Pensions has provided extra funding for the 2023 / 2024 financial year.

This funding is to help towards:

  • energy costs
  • water bills
  • food
  • other essential costs

Funding that is specific to South Tyneside includes:

  • hardship payments for residents in significant financial difficulty
  • meal vouchers for the Easter and Summer holidays (if your child gets free school meals)
  • a one-off automatic payment to pensioners who are on low income who receive benefits
  • help for families on low income to pay for school uniforms
  • support for established food banks in the Borough
  • support to voluntary sector partners in meeting the needs of their clients

Who is eligible

You may be eligible for extra financial support if you:

  • are struggling financially due to the cost of living crisis
  • will not be eligible for the second cost of living payment (2023 / 2024) that will be issued to qualifying households between 31 October 2023 to 19 November 2023

Please note: If you have received a £150 Household Support Fund payment during the current financial year you will not be eligible for a further payment.

The qualifying benefit(s) for the first payment is:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

If you did not receive one of the benefits above between 26 January to 25 February 2023 you could be eligible for support from the Household Support Fund.

There are household income and savings criteria that you will need to meet to be eligible for these awards.

If you meet the criteria for assistance, a single payment of £150 per household will be made.

If you don't meet the eligibility criteria

If you do not meet the criteria for the above support but are struggling to meet your day to day living expenses, you may be eligible for support under our local welfare provision service.

Apply for the Household Support Fund

To apply for help, please submit an application.

Please upload your latest payslip or proof of self-employed earnings to show you are currently employed or working.

Please make sure you have told us about all members of your household on the application form, and details of your household income.

Failure to provide this information may cause delay to your application's processing time.


Support through the Local Welfare Provision Scheme

You may be eligible for support through our Local Welfare Provision Scheme.

Funding for this scheme has been increased using money from the Household Support Fund.

This scheme provides short term financial help if you have a financial crisis or need help with your daily living expenses because you are experiencing exceptional hardship.

You will need to apply for this fund to check if you are eligible.

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis. You will need to provide proof of your circumstances.

Support is provided in the form of vouchers that you can use for food and energy.

Apply for the Local Welfare Provision Scheme

Support from the government

The Government has announced extra support for families to help with cost of living pressures.

Please note: These are government schemes. South Tyneside Council is not responsible for administering this support.

GOV.UK: Cost of living support

Welcoming places in South Tyneside

Welcoming places are free public places where residents can go to get warm, save money on their heating costs, avoid social isolation, and receive support and advice.

A number of organisations and venues have pledged their support to residents.

To view all the locations in the Borough, see Map of Welcoming places in South Tyneside.

For more information see:

Money, debt and savings advice

For money, debt and savings advice see, benefits, money and debt advice.

Check if you are entitled to benefits

South Tyneside Council provides:

The government provides other benefits, such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Job Seeker's Allowance and low-income benefits, disabilities benefits and benefits for families.

You can use an independent, free benefits calculator to check what you could be entitled to see, GOV.UK: Benefits calculator.


Entitledto

Entitledto is an organisation which works with councils and housing associations to help people claim benefits - it provides an easy to use calculator to help people find out what they are entitled to and go on to make a claim.

Get help with energy and bills

Energy roadshows

South Tyneside Homes are hosting sessions throughout March aimed at helping you to reduce your fuel bill.

For more information see Energy roadshows.

These support services can help if you are struggling to pay for your energy and bills.


Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically

Most households in England, Scotland and Wales get a £400 discount on their energy bills automatically.

In some cases, you do not get the discount automatically, for example if you:

  • pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner
  • live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid

If you do not get the discount automatically, you can apply for it on the GOV.UK website:

GOV.UK: Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically


Help if you use alternative fuels for heating

You may be eligible for a £200 Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) if both the following are true:

  • your household is not connected to the mains gas grid
  • you use alternative fuels as your main form of heating

This is on top of the £400 from your electricity supplier.

You're eligible for this payment if the main way you heat your home uses:

  • tank or bottled gas
  • liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
  • oil
  • wood
  • solid fuel

For more information, see

GOV.UK: Help if you use alternative fuels for heating

Making your money go further

There are lots of ways you can save money which you might not know about.

To find out how you can make your money go further see, Money and debt advice: Make your money go further

 

 

Crisis support, food banks, and household items

  • Crisis support
    If you have a financial crisis, you may be able to get short-term financial help.
  • Food banks
    Food banks supply food parcels for individuals and families in crisis.
  • Greggs Foundation Hardship Fund
    Grants may be available from the Greggs Foundation Hardship Fund for white goods / carpets / baby items / clothing and vouchers for food shopping.
  • Eon Next
    A replacement scheme for white goods if they become broken or are in a poor condition.

Jobs and skills support

  • South Tyneside Works
    South Tyneside Works offers a range of over 250 courses to help you get into work, change career path and to improve your skills. Eligible learners will be fully funded and have nothing to pay towards the cost of the course.
  • Employment and training agencies in South Tyneside
    Agencies in South Tyneside to help you get back into work, training, or education, or support you with setting up your own business.
  • Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
    Help and support from the Local Government Pension Scheme during the cost of living crisis.

School meals, school uniforms, and school transport costs

Travel costs

  • Healthcare travel costs scheme
    You may be able to claim a refund of reasonable travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.
  • Travel passes
    A lot of travel passes can get you access to discounts and help you with travel costs.

Look after your health and wellbeing

  • Mental health breathing space
    If you have debts and are unable to repay them, you may be able to get some breathing space from your creditors until your mental health condition improves.
  • Advice and support services
    Support to stop smoking, gambling, reducing your alcohol intake and more.
  • Winter health advice
    Support staying warm and well this winter, as well as help and advice on food and heating costs, winter illnesses and more. 
     

Homelessness

If you are struggling with homelessness please get in touch with our homelessness and rough sleeping support services.