22-Redcar-steel-plant-PASUPPORT for SSI workers and those affected by the Redcar steelworks situation is being offered by Middlesbrough Council.

The authority is to open Middlesbrough House on Corporation Road from 8.30am on Wednesday, October 21 and Wednesday, October 28, for impacted Middlesbrough residents.

Help and advice on making welfare claims will be given and applications for support and benefits can be made to both SSI workers and any related contractors.

Middlesbrough House is usually closed on Wednesday mornings so the extra opening hours are aimed solely at helping those affected either directly or indirectly by the steelworks closure.

Cllr Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Governance, said: “I understand how many of the people affected have never had to deal with anything like the benefits system before and may struggle to understand the processes involved with it.

“We are targeting SSI workers and those in related industries in the hope we can deal with their rights and any claim that needs to be made on the day they attend.

“Some people may have rather complex financial issues and also there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about welfare entitlements, but whatever the circumstances we would say come along and speak to the experts and get the advice, assistance and benefit owed.”

It is asked that anyone attending should bring with them proof of identity and their National Insurance number in order that if there a claim is made on their behalf, it can be processed there and then.

Middlesbrough Council is part of the SSI UK Task Force. The task force includes representatives from local agencies, businesses, trade unions, MPs, council leaders and other stakeholders.

The aim of the group is to ensure that following the liquidation of SSI, the impact on the workers, local businesses and the wider community is reduced as far as possible by delivering a programme of tailored support.

Residents of Middlesbrough affected by the SSI closure can find information on their rights, employment opportunities, welfare and other assistance on the Middlesbrough Council website at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/ssi