Last Updated: Sunday 17th March, 2013
With the cost of living increasing every day it is important to ensure that you maximise your income. This means claiming every benefit which you are entitled to. Did you know that there are a large number of government benefits which go unclaimed. In this recession when every last penny counts it is extremely important that we all get what we are entitled to.
Since one of the key issues surrounding benefits is ignorance of what's out there we have created a list of the main ones so that you can go and claim what you're entitled to!
Remember if you have any questions just ask in our forum .
Employment related benefits:
The most commonly known benefit is probably Income Support. It's designed for people who are on low incomes, and those who are recognised as being unable to work.
To claim income support you must
- be 16 or over
- not working more than 16 hrs per week
- not in full time employment
- not in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseekers allowance.
- single parents
- those on parental leave
have. For example, a person will be ineligible if they have over Ј16,000 of savings.
Jobseeker's AllowanceTo apply for Job seekers Allowance you must be.
- in the process of 'actively seeking' employment,
- below pensionable age
- Older than 18 years
- either out of work, or working an average of less than 16 hrs a week
- residing in Great Britain
Whilst on JA you will be expected to show regular evidence of actively seeking work whilst you are claiming the benefit. More information can be found at your local jobcentre.
Family and child benefits:
Working Families' Tax Credit
Unlike Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support, this tax credit is designed for people in paid employment. Eligibility is likely if you are either single or married/co-habiting, in paid employment (or self-employed). It is designed to help families whose income is below a certain amount, by providing tiered tax credits which depend on the household annual income. More information can be found by calling the national Tax Credit Helpline - 0845 609 5000.
There is also Children's Tax Credit for families with more than one child which is paid to the family, at a rate depending on the age and personal circumstances of the child and family. For example, if the child has a disability, there will be a higher payment. Again, the Tax Credit Helpline can advise on your circumstances.