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Wondering how you could increase your income?

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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:

  • £1,331 per year for a first child
  • £881 for any other child

These rates are as of April 2024.

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 to Universal Credit (UC) from 'legacy benefits' including:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance

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 am on legacy benefits. Will I be moved to Universal Credit?

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

The DWP have already written to people claiming Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. From April 2024, they have started getting in touch with people on other benefits.

What do I need to do?

You do not need to take any action until you get a 'Migration Notice' from the DWP in the post.

Can I stay on my old benefits?

Old style benefits are ending, so you will need to switch to UC to keep getting financial support.

When you get your Migration Notice, it will tell you the date you need to make your claim by.

The DWP can extend the deadline or cancel the Migration Notice. They decide on a case-by-case basis and it depends on your situation.

Will the amount I get change if I move to UC?

The DWP will provide 'transitional protection' when you switch to UC. This means you will keep getting the amount you received on the old style benefits.

Transitional protection is not permanent. It can decrease if:

  • Your UC entitlement increases
  • Your UC claim ends
  • Your circumstances change

Where can I get more support?

For more support, visit the Move to UC website.

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

Legacy benefits

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 am on benefits and need help paying debt - can you help?

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