Welfare benefits: Check what you’re entitled to

posted by in Budgeting, Debt news

You might be eligible for more than you thought

You might be eligible for more than you thought

We often hear about people going to prison because they’ve fraudulently claimed benefits, but what about those that don’t claim benefits that they could?

Every year, people in the UK are missing out on benefits and tax credits worth over £10 billion. Much of this money goes unclaimed because people are too proud to claim.

The perception

There are often stories in the press bashing benefits claimants, calling them lazy, feckless scroungers. Anyone familiar with Shameless will also be given an impression that those on benefits are taking advantage of the system.

Faced with these sorts of stories it can make the idea of putting a claim in for benefits very off putting. What if they’ll laugh at your application? What if you get turned down? What if all your friends stop talking to you when they know you’ve made a claim?

The reality

We all pay taxes, whether through VAT on the things we buy or income tax from the times when we work. As we all pay into the system it’s only fair that we should be able to get a little back when we’re finding times are tough.

The welfare benefits system is there to provide a safety net for people when they’re facing financial difficulty and there should be no shame in claiming what you’re entitled to.

Get a benefits check in under ten minutes

If you use our benefits checker you can get your results in under ten minutes without having to hold on the phone for ages or do any paperwork.

The benefits checker is a simple and easy to use tool to find out what you’re entitled to. Anyone can use it, whether you’re a StepChange Debt Charity client or not.

To see for yourself how easy it is to find out what you are entitled to just visit our benefits checker.

What information do I need to have?

The benefits checker can give you information on a host of benefits you could get but it will need some details about your finances to give you accurate results.

To make it easier it’s best to have the following information ready before you start:

  • Income details (including your partner’s if they live with you)
  • How much money you have in savings
  • How much your housing costs are
  • Who else lives with you
  • Details of any benefits you currently receive

Once you give this information to the checker it’ll crunch the numbers and come back with an easy to follow break down of what you should be receiving.

Aren’t benefits going to change?

There are big changes planned for benefits in 2013. Don’t let this put you off though;  it’s best to claim what you can now and your benefits will be adjusted when the changes come in.

James Winterbottom has been a debt advisor for six years. Away from work he is an amateur app developer and writes fiction. James is a lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town football club, which suggests he is either very loyal or very daft. He also likes to talk about himself in the third person in bio pages.

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