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Money matters

In this section you will find information and 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.

Frequently asked questions

What is Universal Credit and how does this affect me?

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 more information about Universal Credit on the Council's Universal Credit web pages.  There is also a useful desk aid (pdf) and key messages (pdf) document.

Where can I get help if I am in a crisis?

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.

Where can I get free or low cost meals in Sunderland?

There are a number of registered food banks based in and around Sunderland. 

Please look at our list of food banks in the Food banks and parcel section to the right, for details of location and opening times.

Can I get financial help if I am disabled?

There is a wide range of disability-related financial support, including benefits, tax credits, payments, grants and concessions.  You can find more information 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

You can find more information on the the dosh website.

Where can I get help with claiming or applying for benefits?

There are a number of providers that can help with benefit advice, from Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance, Health Costs and many others.

Please look at our list of services in the Benefits Advice section, or alternatively you can find more information on the Council's Benefit web page or the DWP website.

Where can I get help with debt and finance problems?

If you are struggling to manage your finances or have problems with debt, please look at our list of services in the debt and financial advice sections.

You can find more information on the Council's Managing debt web page.

Can I get help to pay for my care?

There are a number of ways you can get help to fund your social care needs (or for the needs of someone you care for.  Please look at our list of services in the Paying for your care section.

Or you can find more information on the Council's Details about paying for care and financial assessments can be found on the Council’s Paying for your care costs web page.

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