Benefits and Tax Credits is money provided by the government, but administered by either the Department for Works & Pensions (DWP), HMRC Tax and Revenues, or Local Authorities, You may be able to claim benefits and tax credits if you are:
unemployed, sick or disabled, if you are a carer, if you are pregnant or have children, in work on a low income, have suffered a bereavement
Some benefits are “means tested” which means all of your other forms of income and savings are taken into account to see if you qualify.
“Non means tested” benefits means that you will automatically be entitled to these benefits no matter what your other financial circumstances, so long as you meet the qualifying criteria.
Some of the most common benefits are:-
You may be entitled to JSA if you are out of work and actively seeking employment or work on average less than 16 hours per week.
You may be entitled to ESA if you are out of work, but have an illness or disability which means you cannot actively seek employment.
If you are 26 weeks pregnant you may be able to claim one of the maternity benefits
WTC is paid to claimants in work but on low income. There are regulations about minimum hours worked
The working tax credits calculator will allow you to work out your entitlement to both WTC and CTC
CTC is paid to families with children resident in the home who are in full time approved education or training. This can be paid to both employed and unemployed claimants.
A benefit paid for each child resident in the home. Payable to all households where the income is less than £50,000.00 per annum
This is a payment made to claimants to help out with the additional costs of a long term illness or disability. Payments are made at different levels known as lower, middle and higher rate and you can claim 1 or both of 2 elements known as care element and or mobility element. DLA for adults is being phased out and replaced by PIP from 2013 but DLA for children under 16 can still be claimed.
If you care for someone for 35 hours per week (you don’t have to live with them) who receives middle or higher rate DLA or PIP, and you earn less than £110 per week, you may be eligible for this benefit
This is a benefit paid to people who reach the state pension age and is based on your national insurance contributions. The state pension age is not a set age or date of birth and to find out when you will qualify for this benefit please use the state pension calculator
Pension credit is an addition payment to pensioners on low income. It ensures no single pensioner will be in receipt of less than £148.35 per week and no couple will get less than £226.50. Use the pension credit calculator to see how much you will be entitled to.
Please see the link to the left for more information
Any house hold where a pensioner is resident. This is an annual payment of between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills.
If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to claim bereavement benefits. The benefits can help ease some of the financial worries you may face following the death of your partner. They are not means-tested and can be paid whether or not you are working.
The Dept for Work and Pensions website offers more advice on the types of benefit available, your eligibility and guidance on how to make a claim.