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Wondering how you could increase your income?

We're here to help. Get advice online.

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i This applies across the UK.

Saving money and increasing income

Make sure you are not missing out on benefits

It is important to make sure you get all the income you can. Especially if you are struggling with money.

The government pays benefits to people who:

  • Cannot work, or
  • Have a low income

Extra money from benefits could be a big help to your situation.

Find out what you can claim with our free online benefits calculator.

Benefits provide extra money for basic living costs like:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing

You can claim benefits if you:

  • Have children or dependents
  • Are on a low income
  • Are ill or disabled

Read our guide about more ways to maximise your income.

Have you claimed Child Benefit?

Child Benefit can be claimed by parents or guardians with a child:

  • Under 16 in their household or
  • Under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

You can get:

  • £1,248 per year for a first child
  • £826.80 for any other child

These rates are as of 2023.

You can now claim fully online. The money should arrive within three days.

What kind of benefits can I claim?

The government is moving people from “legacy benefits” to Universal Credit (UC). This includes:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • And others

UC is the benefit most people in the UK claim. It is designed to support people who are:

  • Unemployed
  • On low incomes
  • Unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Caring for dependents

It combines many old benefit types into one monthly payment. It can be split into two payments for people living in Scotland.

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and most local authorities have adopted UC as standard. You are told to apply for UC when you make a new claim.

I'm on benefits, will I be moved to Universal Credit?

The government wants to move everyone onto Universal Credit by 2029.

You might move earlier if:

  • Your circumstances change
    • You will be moved onto UC if your claim changes
  • The DWP writes to ask if you would like to move
    • You can agree to this change
  • You claim from your local authority
    • They are moving to UC as standard for the claims they manage

You get a top-up if your UC payment is lower than your current benefits.

Visit Gov.UK for more information.

Keep the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) up to date on your situation when claiming benefits.

If you are overpaid:

  • DWP Debt Management will ask you to pay back any extra money you got
  • They can take money from your wages and benefits to get what you owe

Some areas in the UK do not have UC as standard.

In these rare cases, you may be able to apply for:

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

Fill in an online form on the Gov.UK website.

You need to provide:

  • Information about your living situation
  • Your national insurance (NI) number
  • A telephone number to reach you on

In Northern Ireland:

  • You need to apply for JSA online
  • Visit NI Direct to apply

Income Support

Visit the Gov.UK website to find out how to apply for Income Support.

Or, visit the NI Direct website if you live in Northern Ireland.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Visit the Gov.UK website to find out how to apply for ESA / PIP over the phone.

You can also:

  • Fill in and print out the ESA1 form
  • Give it to your local Jobcentre Plus office

Working and Child Tax credit

You can order a Tax Credits claim form by:

It can take up to two weeks to arrive.

I'm on benefits and need help paying debt - can you help?

We give free and impartial debt advice.

Call us or use our online advice tool for help.