Cost of Living and welcoming places

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.

If you get Pension Credit

Some of the Household Support Fund has been allocated to support pensioners on a low income. If you receive Pension Credit, you should get a letter within the next few weeks which can be taken to the Post Office and exchanged for £50 cash.

You can collect the payment from any Post Office branch.

The letter has a barcode which you must show to collect your payment. 

You must take the letter along with one of the following documents:

  • Passport or Drivers Licence
  • National Identity Card or HM Armed Forces ID Card
  • Over 60's Concessionary Bus Pass with Photo ID
  • Bank Statement from the last 3 months (showing your name and address)
  • Utility Bill from the last 3 months (showing your name and address)
  • Debit or Credit Card (showing your name)

If you need someone to collect this on your behalf, they will need to take one of the ID listed above for themselves and for you. 

You need to collect your payment within one month of the date shown on the letter. If you don't collect your payment within the time period your payment will be called.

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