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Money matters

In this section you will find services that can help you manage your money and any debt as well as supporting you with queries about benefit entitlement, universal credit and paying for your care.

Services can be searched in the categories to the right and information and advice is listed below. 

Information and advice

Community Care Support

Community care support is one of two schemes that make up Sunderland City Council's local welfare provision scheme. It is intended to help vulnerable people who lack financial resources to:

  • enter or re-enter the community or;
  • maintain their independence within the community.

The scheme can provide help with:

  • beds
  • refurbished furniture
  • refurbished white goods
  • small essential household items

To see whether you are eligible for this, please visit the Council's Community Care Support web pages.

Crisis Support

This is one of two schemes that make up Sunderland City Council's local welfare provision scheme.  The scheme is intended to help vulnerable people who:

  • do not have short-term resources to be able to meet certain needs themselves following;
  • an emergency or crisis

The scheme supports people with a crisis or emergency and can provide help with:

  • food
  • utilities (gas/electricity)
  • travel costs
  • clothing

Details of eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Council's Crisis Support web page.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

Discretionary housing payments is a scheme, which in some instances, awards short-term further financial assistance:

  • where housing benefit or universal credit does not cover your full rent payments and
  • you are struggling to pay your rent

The scheme is to help out while you try to improve your financial circumstances or secure cheaper, alternative accommodation.

To find out the whether you would be entitled to receive this, please visit the Council's Discretionary Housing Payment web pages.

If you would like further information, you may find the links below useful:

Where to get help with housing and finance

Where to get help to improve your mental health

Financial help if you're disabled

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions.  Further details can be found on the .GOV.UK website.

Dosh also supports adults with a learning disability to have more control over their money. Dosh provides:

  • appointeeship for benefits
  • financial advocacy
  • account management for Individual Budgets, Individual Service Funds and Direct Payments
  • a one-off or regular money check

Further details about their services can be found on the dosh website.

Illegal money lending / Report a loan shark

Illegal money lending / Report a loan shark
For more information on how to report a loan shark or illegal money lending please visit

If you are in England, email or call 0300 555 2222.

Legal Advice

If you can't afford legal advice or support in court, you might be able to get free or cheaper help, more information is available on the Citizen Advice website.

Alternatively you can check what you can get for free and how little you must earn using the Legal Aid Eligibility Checker on the GOV.UK website.

It is useful to know which solicitors provide services under Legal Aid and for what areas, details can be found on "Find a legal aid adviser or family mediator" on the GOV.UK  website. (Please note these are heavily restricted).



Managing your money

Managing and budgeting your money can be difficult.  If you would like to learn more about how to budget, bank and shop online safely, you can access this free online training with Learn My Way.

There are different money management services who can help listed under benefit, debt and financial advice links to the right of the page.

Details about how to manage your money can also be found on the Council’s Making your money go further web page.

Paying for your care

If you are assessed to receive adult social care and support services, you might have to pay towards the cost of these; you will be referred for a financial assessment (a means test) to work out your contribution. 

Details about paying for care and financial assessments can be found on the Council’s Paying for your care costs web page.

There are also several services listed in the Paying for your care link to the right of the page.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a payment to help with your living costs.  You may be able to get it if you're on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit
From 25th July 2018 new claims for most benefits/tax credits for working age people in Sunderland will usually be for Universal Credit.  Whether you can claim UC depends on your circumstances.  You can check UC is the right benefit for you.  You do not need to claim UC otherwise until the DWP tell you to.

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

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

Universal Credit - The facts

  • Universal Credit will be paid directly into your bank account
  • You'll get one monthly payment for your whole household
  • Your payment may be different each month - demanding on your income for example , change in wages
  • Any help you get with your rent will be included in your payment
  • You'll have to pay your landlord yourself
  • Most people will claim Universal Credit online
  • You can apply for an advance payment to help you manage until you get your first payment

You can find information on your local services via this website.

If you want further details about Universal Credit they can be found on the Universal Credit web pages.  There is also a useful desk aid (pdf) and key messages (pdf) document.

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