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Home chevron_right Benefits and support chevron_right Contact us about benefits

Contacting us about your benefits

You can do most benefits tasks online, so you do not need to wait until the phone lines open.

Benefits enquiries

I need help with my Universal Credit claim

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The government is responsible for Universal Credit, not the council. You can get help through your online Universal Credit account. Or you can call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 (or textphone: 0800 328 1344).

I want to make a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction

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The quickest way is to make a claim online.

But you can also call us on 01642 726006 (option 2) if you need help.

Our phone lines are open Monday and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

I want to report a change in my circumstances

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The quickest way is to report a change online.

But you can also call us on 01642 726006 (option 2) if you need help.

Our phone lines are open Monday and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

I want to ask a question about my claim

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The quickest way is to use the online benefits enquiry form.

But you can also call us on 01642 726006 (option 2) if you need help.

Our phone lines are open Monday and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

I want to talk to someone about a Housing Benefit overpayment

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You can call us on 01642 726006 (option 2) to find out why a Housing Benefit overpayment happened.

Our phone lines are open Monday and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

If you can't call us during that time, you can email HBOP@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

I want to repay my Housing Benefit overpayment

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The quickest way is to pay online. You can set up monthly repayments using the HBOP arrangement to pay form. You can decide how long it will take you to repay the overpayment, so the amount you pay every month is affordable.

If you can afford to repay the overpayment all in one go, you can use the online payment form.

You can also use the online payment form to make repayments which suit your circumstances - for example, paying what you can afford, when you can afford it.

There are also a number of other ways to pay. Find out more about repaying your Housing Benefit overpayment.

Free school meals enquiries

I need help with free school meals

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The quickest way to find out more and apply for free school meals is to visit the free school meals page.

If you still need help, you can call us on 01642 726541.

Our phone lines are open Monday and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

If you can't call us during that time, you can email FSM@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Crisis payments

I can't afford to buy food / pay my gas and electric / buy essential clothes

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You might be able to apply for a crisis award to help. You can apply for a crisis payment by calling 08081 789 278 (Freephone).

Our phone lines are open between 9am and 4pm (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday), and 10am and 4pm (Wednesday).

If you can't call us during that time, you can apply for a crisis award online.

I can't afford to buy furniture or white goods for my home

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You might be able to get help with buying furniture and white goods from the Community Support Scheme.

You can apply for a community support award online.

If you're struggling with the online form, you can call 08081 789 278 (Freephone) for help.

Getting a phone call about your benefits

We use an automated phone service to contact customers who:

  • have a Housing Benefit overpayment to repay
  • need to give us more information about their Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction claim

If you get a call from the automated phone service, it will come from either 01642 843048 (Housing Benefit overpayment) or 01642 843070 (Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction claim).

You cannot use those numbers to get in touch with us. You can contact us about benefits by calling 01642 726006.

Is this a scam?

No. If you get a call from 01642 843048 or 01642 843070 then it is not a scam.

If you get a phone call, you'll be asked to press 1 to speak to a caseworker at Middlesbrough Council.

If you get a voicemail, you'll be given a number to call to speak to a caseworker at Middlesbrough Council.

If you get a text message, you'll be given a number to call to speak to a caseworker at Middlesbrough Council.

You won't be asked to give any personal information before you press 1, or phone the number, to speak to a caseworker.