There are many different benefits available in the UK, and the ones that you’re entitled to chiefly depend on your personal circumstances (such as your age), the number of hours you work (if any), and how much money you earn. Benefits are paid through a bank account and are usually deposited every fortnight (although Universal Credit is paid every month). In this article we examine:
- What benefits you’re entitled to
- How you can claim benefits
- The child benefit in the UK
- When child benefit stops
What benefits am I entitled to?
One way to find out what benefits you’re entitled to is to visit an advisory service in person like Citizens Advice. Alternatively, the easiest way is to go online and use a benefits calculator. These calculators are free to use and are completely anonymous.
In order to ensure that the information given to you about your eligibility is as accurate as possible, you’ll need to have some documentation ready. You’ll need to enter key financial details such as:
- Any savings you hold
- Any income (including that of your partner if you live together)
- Any existing pensions/benefits you and/or your partner receive
- Your outgoing expenses (such as housing costs)
- Your Council Tax bill
The calculator will tell you which benefits you’re entitled to, how to claim for them, and what would happen to your benefit payments if your personal circumstances changed (such as starting a new job).
How can I claim benefits?
The way you claim for UK state benefits depends on the type of benefit. You can apply for benefits such as JSA (Jobseeker’s Allowance), Income Support and ESA (Employment & Support Allowance) through a visit to your local JobCentre Plus though you can also apply for JSA online. The quickest way to make a claim for the new-style ESA is by phone, but this depends on which type you’ll be receiving.
In order to claim for Universal Credit, you must create an account online and fill in all the necessary information about your personal and financial circumstances. You may then be contacted to attend an interview with a work coach at your local JobCentre Plus.
Questions on benefits in the UK
In the UK, a household’s income is officially classified as low, if the members of the household live on less than 60% of Britain’s median income. The figures for earnings before housing costs do not include mortgages, but include state benefits, such as housing benefit.
Traditionally, those who are on a low income in the UK can claim certain benefits. Some of these are: income support, income-based employment allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit, council tax reduction, pension credit, free school meals, and support for mortgage interest.
It is possible for you to claim free NHS dental treatment as an adult residing in the UK if you are receiving Universal Credit. You may be a single person requesting this, or member of a couple, and for the last period of assessment both you and your partner you had no earnings of earnings of £435.00 or less.
How can I claim child benefit?
As soon as you’ve registered a new birth (or your child has come to live with you permanently), you can claim for child benefit using the Child Benefit claim form CH2. Once completed, you should send it to the Child Benefit Office (whose address is on the form).
When does child benefit stop?
Child Benefit is paid for every child under the age of 16 who lives permanently in the UK. It’s also paid for children under 20 who are in approved education, training or a government-sponsored career service. If a 16- or 17-year-old leaves education for the armed services, the payment continues for another 20 weeks. However, it stops as soon as a young person starts working for more than 24 hours a week, is no longer in education/training and/or starts receiving benefit in their own right.