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Money saving

Boost your monthly income with a free benefits check

Posted 29 January 2018

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By performing a quick online benefits check, you could add a welcome boost to your monthly income.

To find out which benefits you can claim, all you have to do is complete our benefits calculator – it’s free to use, confidential, and it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.

On the calculator, you’ll find questions such as your relationship status, how much you earn, and if you have any kids. So, before you make a start, please collect information about your income, savings, and current benefits. This will simply help you complete all the questions a bit faster.

If you’re not already claiming benefits, then you may want to check if the government’s new Universal Credit has been rolled out in your area. You can do this easily – read on to find out how.

Quick tip

We often find customers who live alone (or lone parents with children) haven’t claimed the 25% reduction in council tax that’s available.

Benefits and Universal Credit

An occasional benefits check should be part of any solid money management plan, but the benefits system is getting an overhaul this year – the changes are being rolled out slowly, so how could this affect your claim?

Well, Universal Credit will merge the following benefits together:

- Jobseekers Allowance

- Housing Benefit

- Working Tax Credit

- Child Tax Credit

- Income Support

- Employment and Support Allowance

Universal Credit could also change the amount you can claim, so now is the perfect time to apply for the highest rates.

You can easily work out if it’s been applied in your local area with our Universal Credit Postcode Checker. Do make a note of the following, however: if you’re already claiming benefits and your circumstances don’t change, you won’t be forced to move to Universal Credit until 2019. Eventually, it will be rolled out entirely across the country, but for now you may be able to take advantage of higher benefits rates.

Benefits calculator hints and tips

If you’re ready to start, head over to our benefits calculator to begin. As you work through it, you’ll find loads of explanations about how to answer each question. The calculator will also provide you with benefits estimates, such as with Child Benefit or Child Tax Credit, so you’ll have a good idea of just how much extra income you could gain.

So, don’t delay – get started now and make the most of what you’re entitled to! The extra funds could be really beneficial for paying off your debts and adding more comfort and security to your lifestyle. Benefits are there to financially support people, so make sure you’re making your life a little easier by making a claim.

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.