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- Welcome to Thirteen
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- Contact us
Support available to you from others
There are lots of local and national organisations who can also help you with cost-of-living support.
The government is providing support to people with the cost of living. This includes support with:
- disability benefits
- bills and allowances
Winter fuel payments
If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024.
If you might be eligible, you’ll get a letter by early January 2024.
Local councils are providing support to people living in their area. This includes support with:
- help in a crisis
- financial support
- council tax discounts
- finding a warm space
Visit your local council's website to find out more:
- Middlesbrough Council - cost of living support
- Stockton Borough Council - cost of living hub
- Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council - cost of living support
- Hartlepool Borough Council - hardship advice and support
- Durham County Council - help with your money
- Sunderland City Council - financial wellbeing support hub
- Hull City Council - cost of living
- Newcastle City Council - cost of living support
- Gateshead Council - help with the cost of living
Discretionary Housing Payment
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs. They are given out by your local council, not us.
You can apply for a DHP if you currently get either of:
- Housing Benefit
- the housing element of universal credit and need more financial support with housing costs
DHP funding can help people with housing costs, including if you are affected by:
- the benefit cap
- removal of the spare room subsidy (often known as bedroom tax)
- Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates
You may get a DHP to cover housing costs for:
- a rent shortfall
- rent deposits
- rent in advance if you need to move home
If you need help with your energy bill, we recommend speaking to your energy company.
They can help you with:
- payment plans
- payment reductions
- more time to pay
A number of energy companies also have hardship funds, which can help with paying off energy debts.
There are lots of organisations that can help you with money advice.
You can get guidance on benefits, pensions, debt and budgeting.
- Access free guidance from Money Helper here
- Get help from Citizen’s Advice about debt and money here
- Visit Step Change for free online debt advice here
Credit unions are community organisations that help with saving up money and providing loans at low interest rates.
To benefit from a credit union, you must join as a member.
Help with food
The cost of food has also gone up a lot.
Food banks are community organisations and places that can help you with getting food if you are having difficulty affording to buy food.
There are foodbanks in the Tees Valley and surrounding areas that you can use. Visit your local foodbank's website to find out more:
- Billingham and Stockton Food Bank
- Middlesbrough Food Bank
- Redcar Food Bank
- Hartlepool Food Bank
- Hull Food Bank
Help with baby items
Warm welcome spaces
Councils are opening their buildings to the local community over the winter.
They are working with local organisations to do the same too.
These buildings will give people a place to meet other members of the community, have a hot drink and in some cases get access to support and advice about benefits, housing costs, mental health and energy costs.
Visit your local council's website to find out more:
- Middlesbrough Warm Welcome Network
- Stockton Borough Council - warm spaces
- Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council - warm spaces
- Gateshead Council - warm spaces directory
- Durham City Council - warm spaces