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Saving money and increasing income

Which benefits am I entitled to?

Benefits are paid by the government to people who are unable to work or have a low income.

Claiming benefits can provide extra money for essential living costs such as food, clothing and housing.

For example, if:

  • You’re out of work you may be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance
  • You’ve got children you can claim child benefit, and may be able to claim Child Tax Credits
  • You have a low income you may be able to claim Working Tax Credits
  • You’re ill or disabled you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (formerly Disability Living Allowance)

If you’re struggling financially it’s important to make sure you’re getting all the income you’re entitled to. The extra money you could claim from benefits can make a big difference to your situation. If you think you might be entitled to claim a benefit you should apply for it.

To find out if you’re entitled to any extra benefits use our free benefits checker.

How do I apply for benefits?

If you're applying for:

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

Simply fill in an online form on the gov.uk website. You'll need to provide information about your living situation. You'll also need to provide your national insurance (NI) number and a contact telephone number you can be reached on. 

Residents of Northern Ireland will need to apply for JSA online via NI Direct

Income Support 

Visit the gov.uk website (or NI Direct website for Northern Ireland residents) to find out how to call and apply for Income Support. 

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

Visit the gov.uk website to find out how to apply for ESA / PIP over the telephone. You can also fill in and print out the ESA1 form and send or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Working and Child Tax credit

You can order a Tax Credits claim form by using the gov.uk online tool or calling the Tax Credits Office. It can take up to two weeks for your form to arrive.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is new benefit which combines several previous benefits into one monthly payment. Universal Credit is being gradually introduced across the country to certain groups of people applying for benefits. If you’re one of these, you’ll be directed to apply for universal credit when you make an application for any of the above benefits.

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

We give free and impartial debt advice to people with all sorts of debt problems. If you feel that you need some help with your financial situation get help by calling our Helpline or through our online Debt Remedy tool.