Universal Credit: Expert discusses benefits of claiming
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Some 5.6 million people are claiming Universal Credit either because they are looking for work or on a low income. Many were forced to claim this DWP benefit during the pandemic and might not be aware that it is a gateway benefit to 30 additional benefits or freebies.
Britons who are struggling to make ends meet because of the cost of living crisis are being reminded to check they are making use of all the DWP benefits available to them.
Universal Credit claimants might not be aware they can apply up to 30 additional freebies which could help them make huge savings.
New applicants can ask for an advance payment to help tide them over until their claim is processed.
It doesn’t need to be paid back all at once and payments can be spread over 24 months.
Universal credit claimants can make huge savings on broadband and healthy start vouchers (Image: Getty)
Some people are still unaware they could qualify for things like reduced travel, free broadband and Healthy Start Vouchers.
Around one million households are eligible to receive free broadband installation from Openreach, which could save a low income household £92 on installation charges.
In addition, claimants are also entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers but may need to apply for them.
Healthy Start Vouchers are available to people on Universal Credit and Tax Credits who have responsibility for young children.
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Who qualifies for Healthy Start Vouchers?
Universal Credit claimants should apply if:
- They are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under four years old
- The family’s monthly ‘take-home pay for this period’ is £408 or less from employment
Child Tax Credit claimants should apply if:
- They have at least one child under five years old
- The family’s annual income is £16,190 or less
Universal credit: claimants can get 30 freebies including broadband and healthy start vouchers (Image: Express)
Additional ‘freebie’ benefits like broadband installation and Healthy Start Vouchers could make a big difference to families on the breadline.
It’s not just Universal Credit claimants who qualify for additional financial help, PIP claimants and those on tax credits should also enquire.
Britons should speak to their work coach or leave a note in their journal if they don’t think they are receiving everything they are entitled to.
People on state benefits might be eligible for up to 30 freebies saving them thousands of pounds.
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Universal Credit claimants might qualify for:
- Reduced council tax bills
- Capped water bills
- Half price bus
- Discounted rail fares
- Free or discounted gym membership
- Help with new job costs
- Warm Home Discount Scheme of £140 off fuel bills
- £25 in Cold Weather Payments
- Free or cheap broadband from TalkTalk, Virgin Media and BT
- Cheap BT phone calls
- Free prescriptions for people with zero income or those on a low income
- Free dental treatment
- Eye tests and discounted glasses
- Free school transport
- Free school meals
- Discounted childcare costs
- £150 towards school uniforms – dependent on the local authority
- £1,200 free cash as part of the Government’s Help to Save scheme
- Food vouchers for kids as part of the Healthy Start scheme
- Maternity grant up to £1,000
- Disabled Facilities Grant (up to £30,000) to make changes to a home
- Homeowners can apply for up to £10,000 to pay for a boiler
- Homeowners can get help to pay for double glazing as part of the Green Homes Scheme
- Up to £300 in Winter Fuel Payments
- Free wigs or fabric support provided by the NHS
- Free health travel costs
- Help with housing costs
- Help with funeral costs
- Bereavement support payments
- Reduced court fees.
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