How to claim benefits? Benefits

Benefits are payments given to people on low incomes or with specific circumstances.

At the moment, the government are making the switch to Universal Credit, which is a welfare support payment designed to replace what is currently known as Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.

Universal Credit is one monthly payment in replacement of several. It is made up of a basic ‘standard allowance’ and extra payments that are allocated depending upon individual claims.

Benefits that will not be included in Universal Credit, and must be claimed for separately, are:

  • Council tax support
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance and employment support allowance
  • Disability living allowance/personal independence payment (PIP)
  • Child benefit
  • Social fund
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Statutory maternity pay
  • Maternity allowance
  • Industrial injuries disablement allowance
  • Bereavement benefits

Who can claim benefits?

To claim benefits, you need to meet the eligibility criteria as set out by the government. Broadly, most benefits fall into the following categories:

  • Family
  • Unemployment
  • Low-income
  • Health
  • Age-related

Without knowing your individual circumstances, it is impossible to say what benefits you may be eligible for. But it is worth finding out, as currently approximately £15 billion in benefits a year go unclaimed.

If you are unsure and would like some advice regarding welfare support and benefits, give us a call today on 01902 696 228. Our Advocates will help you identify and apply for the appropriate benefits.

How do I claim benefits?

You can now claim for most benefits online. In most cases, you will need to have the following information to hand:

  • Bank account details
  • Email address
  • Income details
  • Housing information (including rent payments)
  • Savings information
  • Childcare costs

Before you make a claim, check the eligibility criteria for the benefits you are applying for. These can be found on the website. Here you will also find instructions for making your application, along with information on how and when you will be paid if you are successful in your claim.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit:

  • You’re on a low income or out of work
  • You’re over 18
  • You’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
  • You live in the UK

If after checking your eligibility you would like to make a claim, you can create an account on the website and do so. After doing so, you will be invited to attend an interview at Jobcentre Plus within 10 working days.

Get help claiming benefits

If you’ve never claimed benefits before, or you’re unsure of which benefits you may be able to claim, the process can seem complex and confusing. But we can help!

At Building Better Opportunities, our Advocates will guide you through the process and help you understand which benefits can support you. We can also give financial advice and help you make a budget and manage your money more effectively should you require it. To get in touch, fill in the enquiry form below to request a callback, attend a drop-in session, or give us a call on 01902 696 228.