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It’s been a truly fantastic year for our Welfare Benefits team. They have supported 537 households across the North East and increased their income by £438k.

There has been a sharp rise in the demand for welfare benefits advice over the last year resulting in a significant increase in referrals and outputs overall.    This part can be attributed to Universal Credit Full Service roll out across all of the local authorities in the Tees Valley, North Yorkshire and County Durham.  Nonetheless the impact of the continued benefit freeze, reduced earnings tapers and other welfare cuts cannot be underestimated.

We have received 682 referrals over the last year compared to 377 in 2017/18, an increase of 81%.  85% (581) of referrals come from General Needs and Supported Housing Teams.

Similarly advice appointments primarily delivered by home visits have increased by 78%.   719 appointments were delivered in 2018/19 compared to 403 in 2017/18.

Benefit gains for customers continues to rise and totals £438,020 – an increase of 21% on the previous year.