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Other help and support (Universal Credit)

Help with Universal Credit

Do you need help with:

  • preparing for Universal Credit, including knowing which personal documentation you need to apply?
  • setting up an email account?
  • applying for Universal Credit?
  • maintaining a journal?
  • what the Personal Budgeting Service can do for you?

Middlesbrough Community Learning service is running free help sessions in lots of Middlesbrough's libraries and Hubs.

To find out where and when the sessions are on, call 01642 811400.

Help with paying my Council Tax

If you're entitled to Universal Credit and you're also responsible for paying the Council Tax where you live, you may be able to apply for Council Tax Reduction. If you're entitled to Council Tax Reduction, it will reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay.

We (the council) are responsible for offering Council Tax Reduction, and you'll need to claim it separately from Universal Credit. Apply for Council Tax Reduction.

Alternative payments of Universal Credit

The government recognises that the move to a single monthly household payment of Universal Credit will be a big change to the way most benefits are currently paid.

If you're having problems with the way Universal Credit is paid, the Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA) scheme can offer you the following help on a temporary basis:

  • paying your rent directly to your landlord using some of your Universal Credit
  • paying Universal Credit weekly or fortnightly rather than monthly
  • splitting the Universal Credit payment between partners

Speak to your Jobcentre Plus work coach to apply for an APA.

Advance payments of Universal Credit

If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you're waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply to get an advance.

Free school meals

If you have children, we'll work out whether they're entitled to free school meals when you claim Council Tax Reduction.

If you're getting Universal Credit and you're not responsible for paying Council Tax, find out how to claim free school meals.

Challenging decisions

The Welfare Rights Unit provides specialised, independent, and confidential advice for Middlesbrough residents, as well as representation at tribunals (if needed) in relation to benefits and tax credits.

You can also get a free benefit check to make sure that you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to.

Contact the Welfare Rights Unit:

Phone: 01642 729242

Information for landlords

Information for landlords about Universal Credit can be found in the Universal Credit and rented housing guide for landlords.