Millions of Britons on a low income could be entitled to £600 a month

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Some 1.3 million people are still missing out on Universal Credit payments which could work out at almost £600 a month – which works out at up to £7,300 a year. This Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit is paid to people who are looking for work or considered to be earning a low income as long as they don’t have savings of £16,000 or more. The qualifying criteria depends on individual circumstance but anyone earning £50,000 or less is advised to do a quick check.

Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis yet 1.3 million Britons still aren’t receiving Universal Credit payments they are entitled to.

To check eligibility for Universal Credit, people can pop their details into a benefits calculator like the one on the Entitled to website.

It asks for the claimant’s age, employment details, whether they have children and for information on any other benefits they are claiming.

Alternatively, people can phone the benefits helpline or pop into their local job centre.

Universal Credit rates aare increasing 10.1 percent in April 2023 to:

  • Single under 25: £292.11 (a difference of £26.80)
  • Single 25 or over: £368.74 (a difference of £33.83)
  • Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (a difference of £42.06)
  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (a difference of £53.10)

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It’s not just Universal Credit that is underclaimed, in total £15billion is lost in unclaimed benefits every year.

Some 850,000 older Britons who have reached state pension age are missing out on pension credit which could see them up to £3,000 better off a year.

Anna Stevenson, from poverty charity Turn2Us, said: “We know that Pension Credit is really underclaimed – so, that’s a top up benefit for people over pension age.

“From April it’ll be worth about £200 a week for a single person so if you’re over 66 – it’s well worth checking – you could be entitled to some Pension Credit.”

The benefits expert said Universal Credit is also underclaimed because people assume it’s a benefit only for people who are out of work.

She explained around 40 percent of people on Universal Credit are working and being entitled to DWP benefits could also mean help with energy bills and council tax.

Ms Stevenson added: “With recent increases you can see families on incomes of up to £50,000 a year who have some Universal Credit entitlement.

“The big place to look is council tax support this is a means-tested benefit and looks at how much you’ve got coming in and your savings and that helps with council tax which we all know is a really big bill for most households.”

Universal Credit and Pension Credit claimants could also get 10 other forms of support:

  • £1,200 free cash as part of the Government’s Help to Save scheme
  • Food vouchers for kids as part of the Healthy Start scheme
  • Maternity grant up to £1,000
  • Disabled Facilities Grant (up to £30,000) to make changes to a home
  • Up to £300 in Winter Fuel Payments
  • Free health travel costs
  • Help with housing costs
  • Help with funeral costs
  • Bereavement support payments
  • Reduced court fees.

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