Benefit & Universal Credit Advisory Services
Whether you are considering applying for government benefits such as Universal Credit, working tax credits, housing benefit, council tax support and carer allowance etc for the first time or are simply looking for assistance with renewing your claim, our experienced team have an excellent knowledge of the UK benefits system.
Universal Credit itself is a relatively new benefit, which is more complicated than previous forms of social welfare. There are many reports of claimants being refused awards simply due to administration errors, with individuals forced to challenge the decisions at independent tribunals. If you have been refused a claim or believe your claim is incorrect, our team can help you organise your financial paperwork to ensure the correct claim outcome.
Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit. You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either: you and your partner have both reached State Pension age or one of you has reached State Pension age and started claiming Pension Credit (for you as a couple) before 15 May 2019. You can make a new claim if: you’re living in temporary accommodation, such as a B&B arranged by your council, you’re living in a refuge for survivors of domestic abuse, you’re living in sheltered or supported housing (such as a hostel) which provides you with ‘care, support or supervision’.
Tax credits are government payouts that give extra money to people who need it – including those who need help to care for children, those who are disabled workers, and people on low incomes. There are two types of tax credit – child tax credit and working tax credit. You might be eligible for one or both of them, depending on your circumstances. Working tax credit are for people who are in work, either for an employer or self-employed, but earn a low income. Child tax credit are for those who are responsible for children; they're paid in addition to child benefit, and you don’t need to be in work to claim. Whether you qualify and how much you get depends on your household income and circumstances. HMRC deals with claims and payments for tax credits.
Carer allowance enables you to get £67.25 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits, you do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for, you do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person. If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.
Council tax support is available if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%, you can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working. What you get is dependent on where you live - each council runs its own scheme, your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residency status, your household income - this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income, if your children live with you and if other adults live with you.
Many of our clients are entitled to some form of social welfare benefits alongside their income, however calculating the amounts can be difficult for those who do not have an understanding of the various systems. If you are trying to find out how much you may be entitled to or would simply like to assess the financial impact of changing working patterns, our friendly team can assist.