Are you Missing Out?

If you’re facing higher living costs, but have little or no extra money coming in, there may be extra sources of income and support available.  For example, if you are:

  • Out of work
  • Self-employed
  • in work on a low income
  • having a baby
  • bringing up children
  • disabled or with a long-term health condition
  • a carer
  • an older person

you may be entitled to some extra financial help. Even if you feel you can manage, you have a right to claim your benefit entitlements, and sometimes claiming can also help you access other support, so don’t miss out!

You can check what benefits you might be entitled to quickly and easily, using an online benefit calculator such as this one on the UDC website.

If you don’t have internet access, or just need a little extra help, call our friendly advisers on 01799 618840 and they will carry out a benefit check for you.

Pension Credit

Lots of people who are entitled to Pension Credit aren’t claiming it – often simply because they don’t know about it. Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income and is separate from your state pension. Getting Pension Credit means you could also qualify for other financial support, such as Housing Benefit, a free TV licence and other means-tested benefits. You can claim Pension Credit online, over the phone or by post and will qualify for a higher amount if you’re severely disabled or a carer. You can quickly and easily check if you’re eligible online or just give our advisers a call.

Benefits for families

Child Benefit can give a big boost to your family budget. You can claim Child Benefit for each child you’re responsible for, even if you’re working or have savings. You don’t have to be their parent to claim. Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent or carer earns more than £50,000 a year. People who have an income between £50,000 and £60,000 will be taxed but will be better off claiming Child Benefit and paying the tax than not claiming benefit at all (bear in mind that pension contributions are an allowable deduction).

If you are off work looking after your child and not paying National Insurance contributions, then claiming Child Benefit will make sure you get credits towards your State Pension. If you’ve just had a baby, make sure you claim before they are 3 months old.

Half of the eligible families in Uttlesford are missing out on healthy start vouchers for milk, vitamins and healthy food.  These may be available to you if you are on a low income and are pregnant or have a child under the age of 4.  You can find out if you are eligible and how you can claim here or speak to your midwife or health visitor.

Help with household bills & other essential costs

If you’re on a low income you might qualify for some help with energy costs or grants to reduce the amount of energy you use. Contact our warm homes team for more information 01799 618858

To help you stay digitally connected, some providers offer low-cost broadband plans if you’re getting income-related benefits.

If you’ve been claiming some income-related benefits for three months, you may be entitled to a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card, which can cut the cost of rail and bus fares by up to 50%. Ask at your local Jobcentre Plus.

If you have a disability or care needs

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with the extra costs of disability or long-term health conditions for people aged 16 and over. It’s a non means-tested benefit, so you can get it regardless of how much you earn, or whether you have savings or capital.

If you’re caring for someone who’s ill or disabled, it can affect your financial situation too. Help is available – you don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for.

Help with NHS Costs

You might be able to get free NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and help with other NHS costs.  The help available depends on your age, income, whether you get certain benefits, if you’re pregnant or have a medical condition. Check if you are eligible.

We are here to help!

Our advisers are always happy to help check your entitlements and can offer support through any application process, should you need it.  Our specialist disability benefits team can help with applications for PIP, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (for children under 16).  Our advice is always free and confidential. Email us now for more information.