As rising prices continue to make life tough for many Britons, a charity is reminding people there is help available for people on a low income and state pensioners. A staggering £15billion is left unclaimed in benefits like Universal Credit and Pension Credit every year. It only take a few minuted to check whether someone could be entitled to state benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which could add up to thousands of pounds.
Anna Stevenson, from poverty charity Turn2Us, told the BBC’s Rip Off Britain programme £15billion is lost in unclaimed benefits every year, with millions of people missing out on thousands of pounds in support.
She said: “We know that Pension Credit is really underclaimed – so, that’s a top up benefit for people over pension age.
“From April it’ll be worth about £200 a week for a single person so if you’re over 66 – it’s well worth checking – you could be entitled to some Pension Credit.”
It is not just Pension Credit that is significantly underclaimed – people are also missing out on Universal Credit because they assume it’s just for people out of work.
READ MORE: Hundreds of thousands of Britons could receive help paying water bills
The benefits expert explained this common mistake is a myth, and around 40 percent of people on Universal Credit are working.
Ms Stevenson added: “With recent increases you can see families on incomes of up to £50,000 a year who have some Universal Credit entitlement.
Claiming benefits like Pension Credit and Universal Credit could also mean households qualify for additional financial support like council tax support.
She continued: “The big place to look is council tax support this is a means-tested benefit and looks at how much you’ve got coming in and your savings and that helps with council tax which we all know is a really big bill for most households.”
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Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands more Britons could receive help with water bills this year.
Water companies have announced they are increasing financial support for customers by more than £200million resulting in savings for thousands more Britons.
At the same time a new campaign called ‘Support on Tap’ aims to make people aware of all the help available from water companies.
Some eight million people can also expect cost of living support payments in 2023 which will be spaced out throughout the year.
Pensioners could be entitled to totalling financial support worth £1,350 if they have a disability and are on a low income.
In January, everyone can expect £67 towards their energy bills while another £67 payment will be paid from energy firms in February and the sixth instalment in March, which will be the fifth and final part of the £400 energy rebate.
More details of when people can expect further payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are now being confirmed.
From April, a payment of £300 will be made to eight million low-income households on means-tested benefits.
Meanwhile, the £150 cost of living payment will be made to six million individuals on disability benefits sometime in the summer.
The second instalment, of £300, of the cost of living payment for Britons on means-tested benefits will be paid in Autumn.
This will be paid before the £300 pensioner cost of living payment which will be made in winter 2023 to 2024 before a third cost-of-living payment of £299 is made in spring 2024.