In addition to Income Support, there are a range of benefits available for individuals not in work, on low incomes and/or with a health or disability need. Information about benefits which can be applied for, including their eligibility criteria are available at the Gov.UK website here.
The simplest way to check eligibility is by using an independent benefits calculator which asks for details about your financial situation to determine whether you might be eligible. Once completed, the calculator will give you an indication of what you might be entitled to apply for.
The Gov.UK website also provides information and links to the three of the most commonly used Benefits Calculators. These are ‘entitled to’, ‘Policy in Practice’ and ‘Turn2Us’. Links to these benefits calculators can be found here. These are free to use and anonymous.
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to receive it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.
For more information about Universal Credit please visit: Universal Credit
Universal Credit applications can now be made online using the following link: Apply for Universal Credit
Help to Claim
If you struggle with understanding complex information or need some help with completing forms the Citizens Advice provide a Help to Claim service for Universal Credit. For more information about the Help to Claim service please visit:
To speak with the Help to Claim service please call 0800 144 8 444 Monday to Friday. This service is free to use.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
You can apply for ESA if you have a disability of health condition that affects how much you can work.
You may also be able to get ESA if you were unable to work whilst self-isolating because of Coronavirus.
You can apply if you are employed, self-employed or unemployed.
You could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style ESA’ to check if you are eligible use one of the benefits calculators and make a claim by applying online for ESA using the following link;
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have both:
- A long term physical or mental health condition or disability
- Difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition
You can get PIP if you are working, have savings, or are in receipt of other benefits.
You can find out more about how to apply for PIP here https://www.gov.uk/pip/how-to-claim
If you need help understanding or applying for PIP you can get help from the Citizens Advice.
For more information about the support they provide please visit the following link: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-claim/fill-in-form/
If you are a carer you might be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. For more information about Carer’s Allowance please visit: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance
Specified Adult Childcare Credit
If you are a grandparent, or other family member, caring for a child under 12 whilst their parent (or main carer) is working, you may be eligible for ‘Specified Adult Childcare Credit’.
These credits work by transferring the NI credit that would normally go to the parent who is off work looking after the children, to a family member who is providing care for a related child under 12.
Find out more about whether you are eligible and how to make an application to receive the NI credits here.
Tax Credits have now been replaced by Universal Credit. They were provided to those on low incomes for help with living and childcare costs. You can only make a claim for Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit if you already get Tax Credits.
If you cannot apply for Tax Credits you can apply for Universal Credit instead using the previous details provided for the Universal Credit Helpline.
You cannot claim Tax Credits and Universal Credit at the same time. Your Tax Credits will stop if you or your partner apply for Universal Credit. To check how Universal Credits and Tax Credits affect each other please visit: How tax credits and other benefits affect each other
For those in receipt of Tax Credits you can now manage your tax credit claim online using the following link: Manage your tax credits