28 types of benefits you could be eligible for. + Other discounts 


You should always be aware of what you are entitled to


When times are tough, it's more important than ever to make sure you are receiving the money that you are entitled to.

After all, the last thing you'd want to do is find out that you could have received financial support when you've been working your hardest to cut costs and squeeze every penny.



It can also be worth finding out what changes there might be to your benefits in the event of any changes to your employment status or arrangements - like if you get a new job or change your working hours.

Many families are entitled to cash from the Government but are unaware of their eligibility,

Here, we look at what benefits are available - and how you can check what benefits you are entitled to.



Child Benefit:


These are some of the benefits you could be eligible for

You may be eligible for help with your learning costs if you:

are a full-time higher education student;

have children under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs.

The grant doesn’t have to be paid back and is paid on top of your other student finance. You must be eligible for student finance to apply for a Childcare Grant.


Guardian's Allowance:

You could get Guardian's Allowance if you're bringing up a child whose parents have died. You may also be eligible if there's one surviving parent.

The Guardian's Allowance rate is £17.90 a week. You get it on top of Child Benefit and it's tax-free.



Maternity Allowance is usually paid to you if you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.

The amount you can get depends on your eligibility.

You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you've been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.


Marriage Allowance:

A way for married couples or civil partners to transfer a proportion of their personal allowance between them.

Couples have to be living together and one partner needs to not be using their full personal allowance while the other must be a basic-rate taxpayer.


Widowed Parent:

You could be entitled to this if:

your husband, wife or civil partner died before April 6, 2017;

you're under state pension age;

you're entitled to Child Benefit for at least one child and your late husband, wife or civil partner was their parent;

your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.

You may also claim WPA if you're pregnant and your husband has died, or you're pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has died.

If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after April 6, 2017, you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment instead.

You can’t claim WPA if you:

were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner when they died remarry or are living with another person as if you're married to them or as if you’ve formed a civil partnership

were over state pension age when you were widowed or became a surviving civil partner


The workplace

Tax Credit:

You’ll need to answer a few questions before you can order a tax credits claim form. You can do this by:

using the online tool;

calling the Tax Credit Office.

If it looks like you qualify, you’ll be able to order a claim form. It will take up to two weeks for the form to arrive.


There’s a maximum amount you can get - but how much you're entitled to depends on things like your age, income and savings.

Use a benefits calculator to check how much JSA you can get and how your other benefits will be affected.

JSA weekly amount

18 to 24 up to £58.90

25 or over up to £74.35

Couples (both aged over 18) up to £116.80


Low income

Income support:

You may be able to get Income Support if you meet all the eligibility criteria .


Employment support allowance:

ESA £74.35- £113.55

If you're ill or disabled, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers you:

financial support if you're unable to work;

personalised help so that you can work if you're able to.

You can apply for ESA if you're employed, self-employed or unemployed.

You might be transferred to ESA if you've been claiming other benefits, like Income Support or Incapacity Benefit.

You must have a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.

You’ll then be placed in one of two groups if you're entitled to ESA:

work-related activity group, where you'll have regular interviews with an adviser;

support group, where you don’t have interviews.

How much ESA you get depends on:

your circumstances, such as income;

the type of ESA you qualify for;

where you are in the assessment process.


Pension credit:

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts - Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it's below £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples).

Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example, a pension.


Housing benefit:

You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you're on a low income.

Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

You can apply for Housing Benefit whether you're unemployed or working.


Council tax support:

You could be eligible if you're on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%.

You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.

What you get depends on:

where you live - each council runs its own scheme;

your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residency status);

your household income - this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income;

if your children live with you;

if other adults live with you;


Free school meals:

Your family situation could dictate whether or not you are eligible for benefits

All key-stage one children (reception, year one and year two) are entitled to free school meals but, once they reach key-stage two, they will have to pay.

However, your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

Income Support;

income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance;

income-related Employment and Support Allowance;

support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;

the guaranteed element of Pension Credit;

Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190);

Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit;

Universal Credit.


Mortgage support:

If you're a homeowner getting certain income-related benefits, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on:

your mortgage;

loans you've taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home.


Budgeting loan:

A budgeting loan can help pay for:

furniture or household items (for example, washing machines);

clothes or footwear;

rent in advance;

costs linked to moving house;

maintenance, improvements or security for your home;

travelling costs within the UK;

costs linked to getting a new job;

maternity costs;

funeral costs;

repaying hire purchase loans;

repaying loans taken for the above items;

You’re only eligible for a budgeting loan if you've been on certain benefits for six months


Funeral payment:

To get Funeral Expenses Payments, you must:

get certain benefits or tax credits;

meet the rules on your relationship with the deceased;

be arranging a funeral in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.



Local council support schemes:

From April 2013, each local authority is responsible for providing help to its residents struggling with an emergency.


Cold weather payments:

These are to help with gas and electricity costs during cold weather.

They are automatically paid if the average temperature where you live is recorded as, or is forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days between November and March. £25.00 for each 7 day period



Attendance Allowance: £59.70 - £89.15 a week 

If you're over 65 and need frequent help with personal care, or someone to supervise you, Attendance Allowance can help.

You'll need to provide full details of how you need help, eg. toileting, dressing, washing, eating or supervision to avoid harm to yourself and others. But it can help with physical problems (including sensory, such as blindness), mental problems (including learning difficulties), or both.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care costs.

If you're aged 16 to 64 and not currently getting DLA, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

If you were born after April 8, 1948 and you’re already claiming, you’ll continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to tell you when your DLA will end and invites you to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Unless your circumstances change, you don’t need to do anything until you hear from DWP about your DLA.

Personal independence payment (PIP) - £23.60 to £151.40/week. PIP is a tax-free benefit for people 16 or over who haven't reached state pension age. It's supposed to help with the extra costs caused by a disability. PIP is gradually replacing the disability living allowance

Disability living allowance (DLA) for children - £23.60 to £151.40/week. DLA for children is a tax-free benefit for under-16s to help with the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or a disability.


Carer’s allowance

You may be entitled to benefits if you require personal care, or care for someone else

You could get £67.25. a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

You don't have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

You won't be paid extra if you care for more than one person.


Contribution-based Employment Support Allowance:

You may be able to get new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you're ill or unable to work and meet the entry conditions for Universal Credit (UC) in the area you live. UC is available for single people throughout Great Britain, it is also available to couples and families in some Jobcentre areas.

You may get new-style ESA if you have a fit note and have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance Contributions.

New style ESA can be claimed instead of, or as well as, UC depending on your circumstances. If you claim both benefits, your new-style ESA payment will be deducted from your UC payment.


Work Capability Assessment:

You must have a Work Capability Assessment while your claim for new-style ESA is being assessed.

This is to understand how your illness or disability affects your ability to work. If you're claiming both UC and new-style ESA, you'll only attend one Work Capability Assessment.

The Department for Work and Pensions will arrange this for you.

Initially you can claim new-style ESA for up to 365 days. After 365 days, your entitlement will end and your work coach will advise you of your options.

This time limit does not apply if you're assessed to have limited capability for work and work related activity.

You’ll be informed of the outcome of your assessment and what to do next.


Statutory Sick Pay:

This is paid to employees if they are off sick from work for more than four days, for a period of up to 28 weeks.


State Pension:

The Basic State Pension is a Government-administered scheme, funded by National Insurance contributions, to give those who have reached the Government-defined retirement age a guaranteed weekly income.


Bereavement Allowance:

It can be a difficult time for your family if there is a sudden death

You may get Bereavement Allowance if all the following apply:

your husband, wife or civil partner died before April 6, 2017;

you were 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died;

you’re under State Pension age;

your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.

You won't get Bereavement Allowance if you:

are bringing up children - you can claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance instead;

remarry or form a new civil partnership;

live with another person as if you’re married or in a civil partnership;

were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner before their death;

were over state pension age when you were widowed or became a surviving civil partner - you may be able to get extra state pension;

are in prison.


Bereavement Payment:

You may be able to get a £2,000 Bereavement Payment if your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017. This is a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment.

If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017 you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment instead.

You may be able to get Bereavement Payment if, when your husband, wife or civil partner died, you were either:

under state pension age;

over state pension age and your husband, wife or civil partner wasn't entitled to a State Pension based on their own national insurance contributions.

Additionally, your husband, wife or civil partner must have either:

paid enough National Insurance contributions;

or died because of an industrial accident or disease.

You can’t get Bereavement Payment if any of the following are true:

you were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner;

you’re living with another person as husband, wife or civil partner;

you’re in prison.


Winter Fuel:

Heating can be costly at this time of year

If you were born on or before August 5, 1953, you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.

This is known as a Winter Fuel Payment.

You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you’re eligible and you get the state pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you're eligible but don't get paid automatically, you'll need to make a claim .

Other Discounts 

Get free bus travel with a disabled person's bus pass 

Get 1/3 off rail fares with a £20/year Disabled Person's Railcard - plus 1/3 off for a friend

Upto  £100s less in council tax if you qualify for the 'severely mentally impaired' discount

 Consider a £15 'Access Card' to get support more easily

Get 'free' cinema tickets for friends/carers

Unlock 9,000+ accessible toilets around the UK with a free (or cheap) key

Save money on days out, incl 'free' football tix for friends/carers

Avoid paying VAT on wheelchairs, emergency alarms & more

How to get a Blue Badge for disabled parking



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