Increase your income
Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit available for those who are unemployed or with low salaries to top up their income. The total amount you receive depends on a number of things such as whether you are living with a partner, you have a health condition that affects your daily living mobility activities, or your number of dependent children. If you are working then UC will also take into account your monthly take-home pay, so if you have a variable salary, it is a great way to smooth out your income.
Specific groups such as low and middle-income families or disabled people can get additional benefits that reflect their higher living costs such as Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
Reduce your daily living cost
Benefits can also help low and middle-income families to reduce their expenses. For example, the housing and childcare costs component of Universal Credits can help to pay for any childcare expenses you may have, and possibly reduce the amount of your council tax. Families can also apply for free school meals and help with school clothing. There may also be support if you have a mortgage and struggling with your repayments; you may be entitled to support on mortgage interest payments.
Save for your future
Some benefits can also help you access the Help to Save scheme, you can get a bonus of 50p for every £1 you save in 4 years. This could be up to £1,200 in 4 years; what would you do with £1,200? Saving will help you become financially resilient and reduce the need for borrowing.
Moreover, you can use your benefits to boost your pension pot while still keeping most of your take-home income. When in receipt of UC, all your pension contributions are disregarded in the take-home income calculation, which means that for each £100 in pension contributions, you earn an additional £63 in Universal Credit!
Check your benefits
The challenge now is to find out the benefits you may be eligible for, but no worries, we have got you covered. You can use our benefits calculator to get a free and impartial assessment of all the benefits and grants you are able to claim.