Benefits

It is important that you claim what you are entitled to whether you are disabled, too ill to work, unemployed or caring for someone. You may need help if your payments have stopped or if you are having other problems with a claim. You may also have been refused a benefit.

Universal Credit was introduced to Stockton Borough on 7th December. Only certain people can claim this benefit. If you are single and looking for work and making a new claim for benefits, you may qualify.

For more information on this new benefit, please see our section below WHAT TO CLAIM under BENEFITS IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WORK

If you are experiencing difficulties with your Universal Credit claim, please visit HOW TO DEAL WITH BENEFIT PROBLEMS

1. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BENEFITS

This section gives you basic information about the benefit system and how it works.

Benefits Introduction

Learn about the benefits you can get and how they are paid

Find out more information here 
Source: Citizens Advice 

How and When Benefits are Paid  

Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union current account - if you don’t have one you could get paid using a Post Office card account.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

The Do’s and Don’ts of applying for Benefits

Some rules to help you when applying for benefits

Find out more information here
Source: Shelter

Managing your benefits: Top tips

Benefit claims can be confusing and time consuming. It can seem like something new goes wrong with your claim every few months.

Read our tips to prevent problems from cropping up, and to help sort them out quickly if they do occur.

Find out more information here
Source: Advice Now

Benefit Rates for 2016

The Benefit and Pension Rates leaflet has now been published on GOV.UK. The leaflet also explains some rules on extra amounts payable for dependants and how income and savings can affect entitlement to certain benefits.

Find out more information here.
Source: Gov.uk

The Benefit Cap 

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can get if you're under the age for getting Pension Credit. The Benefit Cap will only affect you if you're getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If the cap affects you, your benefit is reduced.

Find out if the cap affects your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit by clicking here.
Source: Citizens Advice

2. WHAT CAN YOU CLAIM?

You can access an online tool to get an idea of the benefits you should look into.
Your results will include:

  • a list of the benefits you could get
  • an idea of how much you could get
  • links to advice on eligibility and claiming

To access this tool click here
Source: Citizens Advice

There is a link to a more comprehensive benefit check under TOOLS. 

Alternatively, please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section

SICK, DISABLED OR CARING FOR SOMEONE

These benefits can be claimed by those who are unable to work or have a long term illness or disability. We have included information on benefits for carers. We have also included useful information on carers in our FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS and HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE sections. There is also a useful guide on how to manage you money if you become sick or disabled under our MANAGING YOUR MONEY section

BENEFITS IF YOU ARE SICK

If you are sick for a long period you may also be entitled to disability benefits

An introduction to benefits if you are sick or disabled 

An introduction to the different benefits available if you are sick or have a disability. The link includes information for carers and benefits for accidents at work and industrial diseases

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice 

Off work because of sickness

Information statutory and contractual sick pay.

Find out more information here 
Source: Citizens Advice

How to get sick pay

Your employer must tell you what to do when you’re off work sick, including when to tell them you’re sick and what information to give them about your illness. 

For more information on how to claim and what to do if you are not paid click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Employment and Support Allowance

Information on who can get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the work-capability assessment and how to claim ESA

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Help to complete an ESA50 form

The ESA50 form is your chance to tell the DWP how your illness or disability affects your ability to work. You’re being asked to show why Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is the right benefit for you.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

ESA: The Work Capability Assessment

A detailed guide to the assessment carried out to determine the capability for work or work related activity of ESA claimants. This guide lists all the descriptors and points awarded. 

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

Preparing for your medical 

Most people, after submitting the ESA50 form, will be asked to go for a medical assessment, called a ‘Work Capability Assessment’. The assessments are carried out by the Health Assessment Advisory Service.

Find out more about how to prepare for the assessment here
Source: Citizens Advice

BENEFITS IF YOU ARE DISABLED

You may also be entitled to sickness benefits.

An introduction to benefits if you are sick or disabled

The link includes information for carers and benefits for accidents at work and industrial diseases

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice 

DLA is ending- the facts

Find out more about how Disability Living Allowance is changing.
Click here for more information
Source: Gov.uk

Personal Independence Payments

Find out more about PIP, who can get it, when you can claim and what happens if you're already getting Disability Living Allowance. You may also get further information on help available through our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Completing the application form for Personal Independence Payments

Use this Personal Independence Payment (PIP) guidance to help you fill in your PIP claim form. There is advice for each question

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Preparing for a PIP assessment

Unless you have a terminal illness you’ll usually have to have an assessment to complete your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application. It’s important that you prepare for your assessment because it’s how the DWP decides whether or not you can get PIP.

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice Bureau

How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims

When you're assessed for Personal independence Payment (PIP), a health professional will look at your ability to carry out a range of daily living activities and mobility activities. The health professional will consider whether your health condition or disability limits your ability to carry out the activities and how much help you need with them.

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Help with your PIP review form

You must send the form back by the date given on the front page - if you don’t, your PIP might stop. 

For more information on how to complete the form click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - if you're getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to 64 with a long-term health condition or disability. Some people aged 65 or over can also get it. If you're already getting DLA, PIP is being introduced gradually over several years and will eventually replace DLA.

Find out more information here 
Source: Citizens Advice

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people with care needs who are 65 or over, and who do not get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Attendance Allowance can help with the costs of getting help with daily living, for example, dressing, washing, or moving around indoors. 

Find out more information here 
Source: Age UK

You may also get further information on help available through our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section

Benefits for Families with disabled children

Find out more information here 
Source: Contact a Family

You may also get further information on help available through our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section.

BENEFITS IF YOU ARE CARING FOR SOMEONE

 

General benefit information for carers

Read about income support for carers, who can claim benefits for being a carer, how much you can get, how to apply, and where to go for further help.
Find out more information here
Source: Turn2Us

Obtaining a claim form for Carers Allowance

Most claims for Carers Allowance are made online however if you cannot claim online, you can still obtain a claim form to send through the post.
To obtain the form and guidance notes, click here
Source: Gov.uk

What is Carers Credit?

Many carers don’t realise that they’re missing out on a National Insurance credit. Each year’s credit could boost their State Pension by £230 a year once they reach State Pension age (2016/17 figures).
For more information click here
Source: Gov.uk

 

You may also get further information on help available for carers through our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section

BENEFITS IF YOU ARE OLDER

These benefits can only be claimed by those over a certain age.

Your State Pension Age

Your State Pension age is the earliest age you can start receiving your State Pension. It may be different to the age you can get a workplace or personal pension. It is worked out based on your gender and date of birth. You may need to know this before applying for certain entitlements.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

General Information

Read information on benefits for people over 60 including retirement pension, pension credit, winter fuel payments and Christmas bonus

Find out more information here 
Source: Citizens Advice

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people with care needs who are 65 or over, and who do not get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Attendance Allowance can help with the costs of getting help with daily living, for example, dressing, washing, or moving around indoors.

Find out more information here 

Source: Age UK

You may also get further information on help available through our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that comes in two parts and you may be eligible for one or both. Click on this link to find out more including how to claim.

Find out more information here
Source: Age UK

State Pension

Work out your pension age, find out more about the basic state pension and how to claim it.

Find out more information here 
Source: Gov.UK

BENEFITS IF YOU WORK

Many people who work receive a low wage. There are benefits you can claim whilst working to ensure you have a minimum income. There are some useful links if you are about to start work. If you wish to check whether you are better off working, use our links to various benefit calculators under our HELPFUL TOOLS section. You may still be eligible for help with your rent and council tax even if you are working. 

Working Tax Credits

Read information on working tax credit including who can get it, how to calculate how much you may get and other help you may be entitled to.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Working Tax Credits Online tool

This online tool checks to see if you qualify and also enables you to order a tax credits claim form.

Find out more here
Source: Gov.UK

BENEFITS IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WORK


UNIVERSAL CREDIT (currently only for single people living in Stockton Borough)

Universal Credit
Universal Credit (UC) will eventually replace income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (you'll still be able to claim contributory JSA). Depending where you live and what your personal circumstances are, you might be able to claim UC instead of income-based Jobseeker's Allowance. If you having problems with your claim or your claimant commitment please see the section `HOW TO DEAL WITH BENEFIT PROBLEMS`

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Preparing for your Universal Credit interview
You'll need to go to an interview at a Jobcentre to finish your application - this is sometimes called a ‘work search interview’ or ‘claimant commitment interview’. 

Find out more about who can go with you and what to bring with you.

Find out more information here
S
ource: Citizens Advice

Reapply for Universal Credit

You might have to make new application if you need to go back onto Universal Credit after a period of not getting payments. It depends when your last payment was.
Click here for more information.
Source: Citizens Advice

Get an advance payment of Universal Credit

You can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit to help you get by while you're waiting for your first payment. This is called a ‘short term advance’.
Click here for more information on advance payments.
Source: Citizens Advice

Universal Credit: if you have a disability or long term health condition

This guide provides information on the support and financial help that is available for Universal Credit claimants who have a disability or health condition.
Click here for more information
Source: Gov.uk

JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE

Can you claim Jobseeker's Allowance?

Check if you can claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - and how much you'll get - while you look for a full-time job.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Jobseeker's Allowance

Information on jobseeker's allowance including benefit rates, who can claim and how to claim.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

How to claim Jobseeker's Allowance

Check which way you should apply for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and make sure you include all the right information.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

How to reclaim Jobseeker's Allowance

How to reapply for JSA using a rapid reclaim if you've had JSA in the last 6 months.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Check if a change affects your Jobseeker's Allowance

What to do if you have a change of circumstances while getting JSA. How to report changes to your work, income, family, health or immigration status. 

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

If you can't keep to your Jobseeker's agreement

What to do if you can’t keep to your jobseeker's agreement because of illness, emergencies or changes to your situation.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

If your Jobseeker's Allowance has been stopped or reduced

What to do if your JSA has stopped or been reduced because of a sanction. Check what help you could get while your JSA has stopped.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Applying for a JSA Hardship Payment

Find out who can get a JSA hardship payment and how much you’ll get. Find out how to apply for a JSA hardship payment.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

 

 

Starting to Work

Moving off benefits

Going back to work doesn’t mean giving up all your benefits. Some benefits may carry on, and others may be available once you’re working

Find out more information here 
Source: Gov UK

Sickness benefits and Permitted Work

If you are claiming certain sickness benefits you may be able to do some permitted work

Find out more information here
Source: Disability Rights

BENEFITS IF YOU HAVE BEEN DISMISSED FROM WORK

Dismissal and Benefits

If you have been dismissed from your job it will affect the benefits you claim. 

Find out more information here 
Source: Citizens Advice

BENEFITS FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

Benefits for Families with disabled children

Find out more information here

Source: Contact a Family

You may also get further information on help available through our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section.

Benefits for families and children

Benefits for pregnant women and parents, including maternity allowance, maternity grants, child tax credit, child benefit and child trust fund.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Guardians Allowance

You could get Guardian’s Allowance if you’re bringing up a child whose parents have died. You may also be eligible if there’s one surviving parent.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

Income Support for those with children under 5

Information on what income support is and how to make a claim. There is also information on other financial help, such as tax credits for your children and help with housing costs.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice 

BENEFITS COVERING MATERNITY, PATERNITY AND ADOPTION

Benefits during Pregnancy

Find out more information here
Source: Maternity Action

Calculate your Maternity Pay or Benefits

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

Money during maternity, paternity and adoption

Find out more information here
Source: Gingerbread

BENEFITS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Information on benefits for young people between the ages of 14 and 18.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

HELP WITH COUNCIL TAX

Council Tax Support

Since April 2014, all assistance available for council tax is administered by Local Authorities. If you live in the Stockton Borough, Stockton Borough Council now assess and administer Council Tax Support. If you would like to calculate how much you are entitled to please see CALCULATORS under HELPFUL TOOLS.

You may also be entitled to reductions and discounts – see TAX

Find out more information including how to claim here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Second Adult Support

Second Adult Support is not based on your or your partner’s income but on the income of other people of 18 years and over who live in your home who are known as ‘second adults’.

Find out whether you are entitled to this support here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

 

 

BENEFITS FOR ARMED FORCES AND VETERANS

If you serve in the Armed Forces - or used to - this information is for you and your family. Find out about help you can get in the UK and abroad, including help with education and travel costs.

Benefits and concessions for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families

Information on financial help available to people currently serving in the armed forces, veterans and dependents, covering benefits, help with school, child care and travel costs and sources of further help.
For more information click here.
Source: Citizens Advice

How reserve forces training can effect your benefits

Your reservist training could affect your or your partner’s claim for some benefits.

Although you'll usually keep your entitlement to claim, any earnings from your training could reduce the amount of benefit you get

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

 

HELP WITH HEATING YOUR HOME

For more information on how to reduce energy bills see ENERGY ADVICE.

Cold Weather Payments

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

Winter Fuel Payments

If you were born before 5th July 1952 you may qualify for additional help with your fuel bills.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

SOCIAL FUND AND LOCAL ASSISTANCE SCHEMES

Social Fund

Information on, budgeting loans, and maternity grants, funeral payments and cold weather payments.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Local Assistance Schemes

Back on Track provides crisis support to residents of Stockton Borough. This scheme replaces the Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants elements of the Social Fund scheme, previously administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Find out more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

BENEFITS IF YOU ARE BEREAVED

If you are married, or in a civil partnership, and your partner dies, you may be able to get help.There are a number of benefits you can get if you are on a low income or have dependent children.

For more information click here.
Source: Citizens Advice

You may also wish to get further information from our FAMILIES AND RELATIONSHIPS section where you will find a section on DEATH AND BEREAVEMENT

GENERAL HELP FOR THOSE ON A LOW INCOME

Find out what help you can get if you are on a low income.This could be help with living costs, rent, council tax, free prescriptions or school meals. For emergency expenses, there are one off payments from the Social Fund.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

HELP WITH HOUSING COSTS

If you are in arrears with your rent or mortgage please visit the DEBT section.

IF YOU RENT

About Housing benefit
The basics: Different rules apply depending on the type of home you rent, your age and your situation.

Find out more information here
Source: Shelter

Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance effects the amount of rent you can claim if you rent from a private landlord.

For more information on those living in Stockton Borough click here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

The `Bedroom Tax`
Basic information about who this applies to and how it can affect your Housing Benefit.

Find out more information here
Source: Shelter

Calculating the Bedroom Tax
If you rent your home from the council or a housing association, your Housing Benefit may be reduced.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Housing benefit

Information on housing benefit including local housing allowance, who can claim, how to claim and how much rent is paid.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Claiming Housing Benefit on Two Homes
Housing Benefit is normally paid on the home you live in. There are certain times when it is unavoidable to pay rent on two homes and in these cases Stockton Borough Council may be able to pay benefit on both.

Find out more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments are payments to help people with their housing costs when their Housing Benefit payments still leave them struggling to pay their rent.

Find out more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

How to make a claim for Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit is claimed from Stockton Borough Council.

Find out more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Payments of Housing Benefit
Payments of Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance will normally be made direct to your bank account every two weeks for the previous two weeks. Stockton Borough Council may be able to pay your benefit direct to your landlord. 

For more information on how your Housing Benefit is paid click here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

IF YOU HAVE A MORTGAGE

Help with mortgage costs
Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

3. HOW TO DEAL WITH BENEFIT PROBLEMS

Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section. 

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH A BENEFIT DECISION

You may not always agree with a decision on your benefit claim. You may think it has not been calculated correctly or that all your circumstances have not been taken into account. In most cases you have the right to challenge the decision however you will need to provide reasons as to why you think the decision is wrong and strict time limits usually apply. 
We have provided useful links to sites which give you guidance on how to dispute a benefit decision.

Problems with benefits and tax credits

Read information on challenging a benefit or tax credit decision. Find out how to make a complaint if you have received a poor service from the people dealing with your claim.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Common reasons for changing a DWP benefit decision

Read information about what you can do if the DWP has changed your benefit decision.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Challenging a benefit decision- where to start?

If you want to challenge a decision made about a benefit, you need to make sure you follow the right procedure if you want to try and get the decision changed.

This link tells you more about the appeals process you should follow for benefits paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Please see further below for information on challenging decisions on Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Personal Independence Payments (PIP): Asking for a reconsideration

Use this tool to draft a Mandatory Reconsideration Request Letter. This tool should make it easier for you to ask the DWP to look again at their decision about your claim for Personal Independence Payment.

To access the tool click here
Source: Advice Now

Late appeals

There are strict time limits for challenging benefit decisions. If you miss the time limit to appeal you can sometimes make a late appeal. 

For more information click here

Challenging a benefit decision by supersession

If you're getting a benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and your circumstances change, the DWP can decide to change the original decision that was made on your claim. This is called a supersession.

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Challenging an ESA decision

You can challenge most decisions made by DWP about your ESA including, not getting an award at all or by being put in the work-related activity group and not the support group.

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Your money and benefits during an ESA reconsideration

During a reconsideration, the benefits you get will be affected in different ways, depending on what you’re getting and the reason you’re asking for mandatory reconsideration.

For more information click here
Source: Citizens Advice

Appeal against a Council Tax Support decision

If you think your Council Tax Support is wrong you can contact Stockton Benefits Service.

Find out more information on the process here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Appeal against a Housing Benefit decision 

If you think your Housing Benefit is wrong, you can contact Stockton Borough Council to appeal their decision.

Find out more information on the process here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

OVERPAYMENTS OF BENEFITS AND TAX CREDITS

Benefit overpayments

You may have been contacted by your benefit office because they think you are being paid more benefit than you should be getting. Causes of benefit overpayments and what to do if you have been told you have been paid too much benefit.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice 

Tax Credit overpayments

The guide below is for you if you have been told that you have a tax credit overpayment that you have to pay back.

Read the guide here
Source: Advice Now

SANCTIONS

—Benefit sanctions are limitations to welfare benefits that are imposed on claimants who do not follow the benefit rules. Sanctions usually apply to Job Seekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance. 

If you have been sanctioned you may be able to apply for a Hardship Payment. You may also wish to visit our GRANTS AND ASSISTANCE page to find out about other help that is available. 

If you wish to challenge a sanctions decision, please see IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH A BENEFIT DECISION above. 

For an elearning course on how to avoid or deal with sanctions, please visit the HELPFUL TOOLS section below.

Benefit Sanctions- a Stockton Guide

A leaflet about how to avoid sanctions and what to do if you have been sanctioned.

Download the leaflet here
Source: SWAN 

Job Seekers Allowance Sanctions

An overview of the new sanctions rules that came into force for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants in October 2012.

Click here for more information.
Source: Gov.uk

Universal Credit - challenging a benefit decision if you've been sanctioned

When you're awarded Universal Credit, you must sign a claimant commitment to say that you agree to do as much as you can to find work or find better paid work. If you don't keep to the terms of the claimant commitment, it's possible that your benefit may sanctioned. This means it can be reduced or stopped.

Click here for information on how to challenge a decision when you've been sanctioned.
Source: Citizens Advice

Employment and Support Allowance Sanctions

A sanction means Jobcentre Plus reduces your ESA. You can only be sanctioned if you are placed in the work-related activity group and you are required to go to work focused interviews or do work-related activity.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Hardship Payments

A hardship payment is a reduced amount of Jobseeker's Allowance which you may be able to get if you have been refused Jobseeker's Allowance, or your benefit has been stopped, because of doubts about whether you are available for and actively seeking work.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Benefit sanctions and what to do about them

As long as you follow the rules of the benefit you’re getting, you should carry on receiving your payments. But if you don’t do something you’ve agreed to do, such as applying for a job or going to an interview, they may be temporarily stopped or reduced. This is known as a sanction.

Find out more information here
Source: Money Advice Service

 

FRAUD

How to handle an interview under caution

The guide below is for you if your council, the DWP, or the Single Fraud Investigation Service, invites you to an interview under caution in connection with your benefits.

Read the guide here 
Source: Advice Now

Benefit Fraud

If the office which pays your benefits suspects you of giving them wrong or misleading information to do with your benefits, they may investigate you for fraud. The guide below tells you more about benefit fraud and what to do if you’re suspected of it.

Read the guide here
Source: Citizens Advice

Loss of benefit as a penalty for benefit fraud

The link below explains which benefits can be reduced or stopped and how long for if someone is convicted of benefit fraud.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.UK

PROBLEMS WITH A UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIM

 

Changing your claimant commitment

If you’re struggling to stick to the work-related activities in your claimant commitment, you might be able to get it changed.Contact the Universal Credit helpline as soon as you can and explain why you need your claimant commitment changed - let them know of any changes in your circumstances. Ask for an appointment with your work coach to talk about it.

Click here for information which will assist you asking for that change.
Source: Citizens Advice

If your Universal Credit payment is wrong

You should be told if there’s been any changes to the amount of Universal Credit you get - usually by a letter.

If you believe that the amount is incorrect click here for more information on what you can do.
Source: Citizens Advice

Get help with debt and rent arrears if you're on Universal Credit

There are some steps you can take if you’re getting Universal Credit (or have recently applied) and you’re in debt, rent arrears or struggling with money.

Click here for options that might be available to you if you need help.
Source: Citizens Advice

Get an advance payment of Universal Credit

You can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit to help you get by while you're waiting for your first payment. This is called a ‘short term advance’.
Click here for more information on advance payments.
Source: Citizens Advice

 

4. HELPFUL TOOLS

We have provided a selection of tools which will assist you with your problem.

Please note that most benefit calculators will give you a rough idea of what you should be entitled to. However the benefit system can be very complicated. For a comprehensive check you will need to see a benefits adviser.

If you need further help click on FIND LOCAL AGENCIES WHO CAN HELP YOU for information about local agencies who may be able to assist you further

Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section. 

BENEFIT CALCULATORS

Please note that certain groups of people are unable to use the calculator because special rules apply to their situation. Check first whether you can use the calculator and that you have all the relevant information needed.

Find out more information here
Source: Turn2Us

CALCULATE YOUR HOUSING BENEFIT AND COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT

You can find how much Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you may be entitled to visit the Stockton Borough Council's Benefit Calculator 

Find out more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

CALCULATE YOUR MATERNITY PAY OR BENEFITS

Use a tool to estimate your Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and work out your qualifying week,estimate your Maternity Allowance if you don’t qualify for SMP and check what other help and benefits you might get when you have a baby. 

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.uk

DO YOU QUALIFY FOR TAX CREDITS: QUICK QUESTIONNAIRE

Use a quick online questionnaire to find out if you’re likely to qualify for tax credits.

Find out more information here
Source: Gov.UK

BENEFIT CAP CALCULATOR

There’s a limit on the total amount of benefits that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap.

Find out an estimate of how much your benefit might be capped by here
Source: Gov.uk

NATIONAL HELPLINES

Age UK is the country's largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.
Telephone: 0800 169 6565

Citizens Advice
Advice by phone is available from Citizens Advice Bureaux 
Telephone: 0344 2451295

Disability Benefits Centre: Get advice or information about a claim you’ve already made for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
Find out telephone number here

FAQs

This section is under development

PODCASTS AND VIDEOS

Citizens Advice: Benefits Advice in BSL can be found here

VIDEOS AND PODCASTS ON SPECIFIC BENEFITS: 

  • UNIVERSAL CREDIT

What is Universal Credit. 
Click here to access the video
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Managing your money on Universal Credit
Click here to access the video
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

  • PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS

PIP- The basics
Click here to access the video
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

  • HOUSING BENEFIT

How to make a claim
Click here to access the video
Source: Shelter

WEBSITES USED IN THIS SECTION

AdviceNow
Advicenow is an independent, not-for-profit website, run by the charity Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education.
www.advicenow.org.uk

Age UK
Age UK is the country's largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Citizens Advice 
The Adviceguide website is the main public information service of Citizens Advice, providing people with round-the-clock access to CAB information on their rights - including benefits, housing and employment, and on debt, consumer and legal issues.
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england.htm

Gov.uk
The websites of all government departments and many other agencies and public bodies 
https://www.gov.uk/#

Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service helps people manage their money. We do this directly through our own free and impartial advice service. We also work in partnership with other organisations to help people make the most of their money. We are an independent service, set up by government.
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en

Shelter
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place.
http://england.shelter.org.uk/home

Turn to Us
Turn2us helps people access the money available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other financial help.
www.turn2us.org.uk

Disability Rights UK
We are disabled people leading change, working to create a society where everyone with lived experience of disability or health conditions can participate equally as full citizens.
http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/about-us

FILLING IN FORMS

Filling in benefit forms can be difficult and time consuming however below are links to different guides which should make this task easier.

ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE FORM

To access a guide to help you fill in an Attendance Allowance form, please click here.
Source: Citizens Advice

EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (ESA50)

To access a guide to help you fill out an ESA50 form, please click here
Source: Citizens Advice

PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS (PIP Part 2)

To access a guide to help you fill out a PIP form, please click here
Source: Citizens Advice

 

FILLING IN FORMS

Filling in benefit forms can be difficult and time consuming however below are links to different guides which should make this task easier.

ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE FORM (AA1A)

To access a guide to help you fill in an Attendance Allowance form, please click here.
Source: Citizens Advice

EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (ESA50)

To access a guide to help you fill out an ESA50 form, please click here
Source: Citizens Advice

PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS (PIP Part 2)

To access a guide to help you fill out a PIP form, please click here
Source: Citizens Advice

To access a video on the claiming process, please click here
Source: Scarborough Citizens Advice Bureau

DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE FOR A CHILD 

To access a guide to help you fill in a Disability Living Allowance Form for a child, please click here.
Source: Citizens Advice