Most of us are entitled to benefits at one time or another. Yet lots of us miss out, and billions of pounds in benefits go unclaimed, because we don’t know what we qualify for.
Use this short guide to benefits and grants to learn about what financial help is out there, and what you might be entitled to.
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Every year £15 billion in benefits goes unclaimed and more than a million low-income pensioners don't collect their pension credit.
There is evidence to that people feel uncomfortable about claiming benefits, but its worth knowing that, on average, we each pay a quarter of a million pounds in taxes and National Insurance which fund the benefits system for us.
Welfare benefits are not a favour from the government, they exist to provide us with financial support when we need it. It is right to claim benefits.
The benefits system is complex, and the rules change frequently, so it’s not easy to summarise exactly who's eligible to receive benefits but there are some broad categories:
Family benefits. If you have dependent children, especially if you have a disabled child, a large family, or if you need to spend a lot on childcare.Unemployment benefits. If you’re out of work.
Low-income benefits. If you’re in work but on a low income.Health benefits. If you are caring for someone, or have an illness or disability, including a mental health issue.
Age-related benefits. Specific help is available for young, old, and very old people.There are a huge range of benefits and they're not just for people who are unemployed.
Grants are payments designed to help meet a particular need. There are lots of organisations that provide them.Grants from commercial organisations. For example, energy companies who might provide support for a more energy-efficient boiler.Grants from charities. For example, a cancer charity providing a grant towards expenses due to cancer treatment.Grants from benevolent organisations. For example;
Grants from the government. For example, a subsidy or payment for home insulation.Grants from not-for-profits. For example, funding for training courses.There are a wide range of organisations providing grants for anything from educational support through to respite breaks for carers.
- we can provide financial grants to current and former bank workers
- the Retail Trust can provide financial grants to people who have worked in retail
- the RAF benevolent fund can help airmen and their families
All organisations will have clear eligibility criteria that must be met and most will provide a one-off not a recurring grant.
Take a couple of minutes to help yourself understand whether your finances are sound now and for the future.
This simple benefits calculator helps you find out if you’re entitled to means-tested benefits. And it’ll indicate if you’re entitled to non-means tested benefits too.
Use this handy grant checker to look at more than 3,500 grant providers and see if you’re eligible for a grant. It only takes a few minutes.
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