Various benefit payments have been created in order to help the people of the UK population who really need it, so if you qualify for help, then it’s always best to claim.
Being on benefits has been given a negative view by the press in the last few years, which has put many people off claiming for things they may be entitled to.
Being on benefits doesn’t always mean that you’re out of work. You can still be working and have access to extra support from the UK government. Here we’ve given you a quick breakdown of the most common entitlements and how to apply for them.
If you have any additional questions about what you’re entitled to and what could be available for you, it’s always best to go and get tailored advice from the GOV.UK website or from your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Alternatively, MoneySavingExpert has a special Benefits Check-Up tool which you can use to see if you’re eligible for anything.
If you don’t currently have a job yet you are able to work, Jobseeker’s Allowance (or JSA as it is also known) is likely to be available to you. Your local jobcentre will be able to administer your JSA payments on the agreement that you apply for work and are proactive in trying to find something. The amount you’ll get depends on your age. If you’re 18-24, you’ll receive up to £57.35 per week. If you’re 25 or over you can receive up to £72.40 per week.
This benefit exists for those who pay rent and who are on a low income. The amount you’ll get depends on how much you earn and your individual circumstances (i.e. how many people live in your home). You may be eligible for help for all or part of your rent and it also depends on whether you rent from your local council or privately through a landlord.
Income Support is there for anyone who lives on a low income. The amount that you can get depends on your individual circumstances but can be as much as £113.70 per week. Your pension, your living arrangements and your savings will be taken into account when calculating how much you could be eligible for.
Child Tax Credit
If you have children, then you may qualify for Child Tax Credits. The basic entitlement is up to £545 per year but you could get more if you meet the criteria for ‘extra elements’. This is more if you have a disabled child, if your income is below a certain threshold and what savings you have. There is no set limit for how much you’re able to earn before you stop qualifying for Child Tax Credits, as it depends on other factors.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and even if these don’t apply to you, there may be other entitlements which you qualify for. Use the links above to explore your options.
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