1m people are missing out on tax credits – are you?

posted by in Welfare Benefits

It’s estimated that one million people in the UK are missing out on an average of £50 a week by not claiming the tax credits they’re entitled to. This is by no means small change. This is especially true if they’re struggling with debt problems.

Due to recent government changes, once Universal Credit gets rolled out to your local Jobcentre Plus, you’ll no longer be able to start claiming tax credits.

As of April 2016, the amount that you can claim in Universal Credit is less than the equivalent claim in tax credits. Therefore, it’s important for you to start claiming tax credits before your Jobcentre Plus moves to Universal Credit.

How do I find out if I’m entitled to tax credits?

The criteria for meeting different benefits can be complex. We’ve teamed up with benefits experts entitledto, and in 2 minutes you can complete their tax credits calculator to see whether you’re claiming all that you’re entitled to.

And while you’re at it, it could be worthwhile checking our full benefits calculator to see if there are other benefits you can claim.

Why should I find out right now?

At some point soon it’ll be too late to claim tax credits. The new benefits system, Universal Credit, is being rolled out across the country, and over 200,000 people currently claim. When this arrives, for many people the same claim will be worth less under Universal Credit than under tax credits.

If you start a tax credits claim, you’ll stay on this benefits amount until you have a ‘change of circumstances’ (such as a change in family composition, housing, or income).

Why should I find out whether I can claim tax credits?

Welfare benefits are aimed at supporting people when they’re in need. Many benefits are designed to act as a ‘safety net’, to catch people when they fall on hard times. If you’re entitled to a benefit, you should be claiming it, to make sure you have enough to cover your day-to-day living costs.

Where can I find out more about benefit changes?

We wrote an article last month about the 2016 benefit changes which includes the changes that are coming into place later in 2016 and mooted for 2017.

You can also check out the benefit changes in 2017 on the entitledto website.

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 8 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games, watching anime, reading and creative writing in her spare time (currently writing a Young Adult fantasy series). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She's also written comics and graphic novels for the animated series Regular Show.

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