Financial Support

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Cost of Living Crisis

With the cost of living crisis expected to get worse during the winter months, many people will struggle to manage financially. Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Council have pulled information together covering local support with energy bills, household and childcare costs, food, transport and general financial support.

Information for Middlesbrough Residents         Information for Redcar & Cleveland Residents

As a carer, there may be benefits, grants or other financial support available to you. You may be entitled to...

  • Attendance Allowance: this benefit is to help to pay for personal care for those that have reached the State Pension age and have a disability or illness that makes it hard to look after themselves. Therefore this may be a benefit that would be granted to the person you care for but can contribute towards your support. See the video below from Carers UK about this benefit:
  • Carer's Allowance (currently £76.75 per week): if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and the person you care for is getting a benefit because of their disability. The government has confirmed that providing emotional support counts towards the threshold of 35 hours of care a week across the UK. See the video below from Carers UK about this benefit:
  • Carer's Credit: if you are under the State Pension age and you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week. Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record and allows you to take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the State Pension.
  • Universal Credit: if you are on a low income or unemployed, you may be able to claim Universal Credit (UC) which is a means-tested benefit (meaning the amount of income and capital you have can affect your eligibility).

You can use the Turn2us online benefits calculator for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.

Benefit appeals

If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) makes a decision about your benefits that you do not agree with you can challenge this decision. 

Before you appeal you must usually ask for the decision about your benefits to be looked at again - this is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’. Do this unless your decision letter states that you can appeal straight away. The letter will explain why you do not need a mandatory reconsideration - include this when you submit your appeal.

Appeal to the tribunal within one month of getting your mandatory reconsideration decision. If you start your appeal after a month you’ll have to explain why you did not do it earlier. Your appeal might not be accepted.

After you submit your appeal, you can provide evidence to the tribunal. Your appeal will be decided at a tribunal hearing. Find out more.

Who can help me understand my benefits entitlement, help me apply and support me with an appeal?

You can apply for any of these benefits directly yourself using the link on each of the benefit types above or you can get help from a range of local services who can discuss your financial situation, impartially, with you:

Carers Together

Tel: 01642 488977 E-mail:

Address (Middlesbrough): The TAD Centre, Ormesby Road, Middlesbrough, TS3 7SF.

Address (Redcar): The Innovation Centre, Vienna Court, Kirkleatham Business Park, Redcar, TS10 5SH.

Middlesbrough Citizens Advice Bureau

Tel: 01642 802282 Adviceline: 0344 499 4110 E-mail: Address: Middlesbrough CAB, 9 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1TH (Wed & Fri: 10am - 1pm). Website contact

Redcar & Cleveland Council Money Advice Portal- Telephone: 01642 771166.

You can download two leaflets with money advice below from Redcar & Cleveland Council:

Money and Welfare advice leaflet 2021-22.pdf

Money and advice leaflet 2022-23.pdf

Redcar & Cleveland Citizens Advice Bureau

Adviceline: 03444111444 Office Tel: 01642 030000 E-mail:

Address:  Redcar CAB, 17 Queen Street, Redcar, Cleveland, TS10 1AB.

Time off from your caring role

Caring for someone can be hard and getting time off isn’t easy. Most carers need a break from time to time. It’s really important that you try to build in some time off for yourself, however hard that may seem. 

How this will be paid for depends on your needs, some carers will only need a few hours a week and may be able to manage this with support from family and friends, while others will need more formal overnight breaks. Find out more about your options for taking time off from your caring role and how this can be paid for.

Do I need to pay for care?

Care and support services are not free. Most people have to pay something towards their own care and some will have to pay for all of the costs. The Local Authority may help towards the cost of your care, but this help is means-tested. This means that the amount you have to pay will depend on the type of care and support that you need and how much you can afford to pay toward's your care each week. 

Direct Payments

You may be able to access financial support through a Carer's Assessment. Your local authority may offer financial support directly to you to reduce any negative impacts of your caring role. Or they might provide alternative care for the person you’re caring for so that you can take a break. 

You may then need a financial assessment to see whether you’ll need to pay anything towards, or for all of, any help that is offered to you which will be coordinated through the local authority.  The assessment may recommend financial help with things like; help with taxi fares if you do not drive, putting care in place so you can have a break from your caring role, gym membership and exercise classes to relieve stress or support with gardening or housework. These payments are called Direct Payments. Generally, direct payments for carers are a one-off payment given to support the carer to have some time to look after their own well-being. Direct Payments can be made to carers aged 16 or over. These are sometimes called a carer direct payment or carer budget payment.

Direct Payments for the person being looked after are more commonly ongoing payments used to employ a care worker or personal assistant to help with their day-to-day needs or for a period of respite care. These payments are instead of having those services provided directly by the council or trust. 

If you'd like help or advice, please contact:

Middlesbrough Social Services
Financial Assessment Team
Telephone: 01642 729293 / 729592

Redcar & Cleveland Social ServicesTelephone: 01642 065070 Email: 

Independent organisations who can provide advice on paying for care:

Find a specialist care fees adviser in your area with:

What other financial support is available?

Housing and Heating costs: As an unpaid carer, you and the person you care for can get help with Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, mortgage payments, heating your home and extra help from energy suppliers. 

Help with rising energy bills

All households will start receiving £400 off their energy bills from October, with the discount made in 6 instalments to help families throughout the winter period. Payments will be made directly to energy companies. If you pay using a  traditional prepayment meter, you can expect to receive this discount in vouchers via text, email or post. Check your energy provider to see their latest updates.

Energy Bills Support Scheme- This is a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible homes. Homes connected to the grid are eligible, with processes also in place for people in houseboats, a park home or living "off-grid". The discount will be applied to monthly household electricity bills for a 6 month period starting in October 2022. You could receive £66 in October and November. Then £67 in December, January, February and March. 

Winter Fuel Payments: If you are born on or before 25 September 1956 you may be eligible to receive between £250 and £600, to help pay for heating bills.

If eligible, you'll receive the payment automatically. To qualify you must:

  • have been born on or before 25 September 1956

  • lived in the UK for at least one day during the 'qualifying week' of of 19 to 25 September 2022


  • receive the State Pension, or

  • get another social security benefit (excluding Adult Disability Payment from the Scottish Government, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit)

Find out more here.

If you have previously claimed and received the Winter Fuel Payment, the payment will be made automatically so there's no need for another claim. To apply contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160. Or through their online enquiry request form. Although, we suggest calling them up directly may speed things up.

The deadline to make a claim for winter 2022 to 2033 (if it's our first time) is 31st of March 2023.

Go Compare Utilities the company cannot switch you right now as there are no viable offers. You can still check energy market prices and access their handy guides. 

Money Advice about Home Repairs: The Staying Put Agency Staying Put Agency (Middlesbrough) helps older people (60+), people with disabilities (18+) and people who are vulnerable to live more independently. The Agency will provide information about financial assistance for repairs, improvements or adaptations to your home (such as bathing, accessing the toilet, and going up and downstairs). Telephone: 08005875184

​​​​Handyperson and Adaptations Team (Redcar & Cleveland) ​The Handyperson and Adaptations Team offers assistance to older, disabled and vulnerable people across Redcar & Cleveland by providing advice on housing options, minor and major housing adaptations as well as delivering a handyperson service for small jobs. 

Social Tariffs- cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit as well as some other benefits. Essentially a social tariff could save an eligible customer £144 per year so it is worth checking if you are eligible and making the switch today. 

Health and Care costs: You, and/or the person you care for, may be able to get help with health costs such as prescriptions, eye tests, dental treatment and arranging and paying for care and support. You may also be able to have more say in how the support you get is organised and paid for.

Grants and discounts: You may be able to apply for extra money from grants or benevolent funds, or get money off your TV licence or car tax.

  • Turn2us is a free service that helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face. The website has a free and easy-to-use grants search and benefits calculator.
  • Disability Grants has details of charities and trusts which give out grants to disabled people and their families and carers.

Travel costs: If you have disabilities or are a carer you may be entitled to free or discounted travel on public transport. If you are a driver you may be entitled to an exemption from paying car road tax, and to a blue badge that gives you parking concessions.

Carers Together's Carers Card Scheme

Carers often worry about what would happen if they were delayed, taken ill or called away. Carers Together can provide a free Carers Card which offers peace of mind for the carer and for the person they care for, knowing an agreed plan can be activated in an emergency. The Carers Card can also provide you access to discounts at several independent businesses. Contact Carers Together for more information: Telephone: (01642) 488977

Max cards | Redcar and Cleveland (

The Max Card is the UK’s leading discount card for families of children with additional needs. Families can use their Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission. The scheme is designed to help families save money on great days out at castles, zoos, bowling and much more.

Carers Card Accounts - A Carers Card Account is a special feature on a bank account offered by many high-street banks that allows the account holder to give restricted access to money in their bank account to a trusted person who provides care. This can be useful if are looking after someone who relies on you to do their shopping or pay for bills etc. 

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