How much can I have in savings before it affects my benefits? Benefits
If you are considering making a claim for benefits, it is important to understand how your savings affect how much money you get. Some benefits may be reduced (or stopped completely) if you have a certain amount saved, either in a savings account or invested in shares.
Benefits that are affected by savings are those which are means-tested. That means your eligibility, and how much you get, is assessed on your individual circumstances and income. To find out how much you can have in savings before it affects your benefits, please read on. Alternatively, contact us today to speak to one of our advisors who would be happy to help.
Savings & Universal Credit
Universal Credit has now been rolled out in full across the UK. This means that any new benefits claims will most likely be Universal Credit claims. If you are still in receipt of ‘old’ benefits (such as Income Support or Housing Benefit) if your circumstances change you will most likely have to claim for Universal Credit.
You are eligible for UC if you are aged 18 or over, under pension credit age, not in full-time education or training, and don’t have savings of over £16,000.
The amount you currently earn (if you are working) and any savings you have directly affect eligibility and how much you might be entitled to. Therefore, if you have savings of over £16,000 (or a partner you live with does) you won’t be eligible for UC at all. Alternatively, if you have savings below this threshold you’ll get less universal credit as a result.
Benefits & Savings
As a general rule, individuals with more than £16,000 in savings, or capital, won’t be eligible for most means-tested benefits. If you have savings over £6,000, then this might affect how much you are entitled to in your Universal Credit claim.
When we talk about savings or capital, we do not mean your home (or your business assets if you have them). The definition of savings extends to:
- Money in the bank or building society accounts (including savings & current accounts);
- Money in a Tax-Free Childcare account;
- Income bonds;
- Stocks and shares;
- Any other property you own that isn’t your home;
- Premium bonds.
Savings that are disregarded include:
- Property that is occupied by a relative that is ‘incapacitated’ or has reached pension credit qualifying age;
- Property you have acquired to live in, are trying to sell, are carrying out essential repairs to in order to live there;
- Property you have left due to relationship breakdown;
- Money generated from selling your home if you intend to buy another;
- Money from insurance claims if they are to be used for replacements or repair;
- Money from loans or grants given to pay for essential repairs or improvements.
Get Advice on Savings & Benefit Claims
If you need advice regarding benefits, and how your savings may affect your claim, contact us today. At Building Better Opportunities, we support individuals from all walks of life with their finances should they find themselves struggling. Not only can we help with budgeting and managing your money, but we can also support you in making an application for benefits and advise you of what you can do to boost your income.
To use our free services simply call into one of our Drop-In sessions held across Stafford and South Staffordshire. Or, to speak to a member of our team, give us a call or fill out the form below to request a callback.