Approximately 1.3 million people are estimated to be losing out on Universal Credit payments of up to £7,300 a year. This could be a lifeline to families struggling to make ends meet due to the soaring cost of living.
While £15billion is lost in unclaimed benefits every year, a staggering 1.3 million Britons aren’t receiving Universal Credit payments they are entitled to, according to data from the New Economics Foundation.
The number of people eligible for this benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) increased significantly due to a rule change announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Many people are still unaware they could be eligible for a Universal Credit top up if they are working as the earning threshold was changed in November 2021.
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It’s not just Universal Credit people could be missing out on – thousands of Britons are also missing out on Pension Credit and Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
In total, there are 11 DWP state benefits in the UK people can claim: Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) Employment and Support Allowance and Attendance Allowance.
In addition, there’s also Pension Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.
Pension Credit is the most underclaimed benefit according to researchers at charity Entitled To.
More than a million pensioners are missing out on this financial help which could see them up to £3,000 per year better off.
State benefits like Universal Credit and Pension Credit also enable people to claim for a reduction on their council tax bill as well as Government help towards energy bills.
Furthermore, claimants are usually entitled to free prescriptions, free dental treatment and discounted glasses.
If they have responsibility for a child they could also qualify for free school meals and reduced childcare costs.
10 other things they might get for free are:
- £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
- Up to £300 in Winter Fuel Payments
- Free health travel costs
- Help with housing costs
- Help with funeral costs
- Bereavement support payments
- Reduced court fees.