Are you in financial difficulty? Then it pays to be aware of any financial help and support that you might be entitled to. You don’t have to claim every benefit that you’re able to claim if you’d prefer not to. But isn’t it helpful to know what you could be receiving?
Independent benefits calculators
Using an independent benefits calculator, you can supply information about your current situation. And receive details about what you’re entitled to. One of these calculators is, called entitledto. The other independent benefits calculator that you might want to use is Turn2us. The two benefits calculators are similar but have slight differences.
You might be happy just using one calculator, but if you have the time and energy for two then it may make sense to try both. You’ll have to provide information about your household, your income and employment status. Also your outgoings, your savings and any benefits that you’re already receiving.
Check your benefit entitlement often
Every year, the rules about who can claim benefits will change. Even bigger changes happen to how much each person can claim. If you’ve checked your entitlement before, don’t assume that things will stay the same. Use the benefits calculator every year, to see if you could be receiving something new.
Checking your benefits entitlement offline
Are you comfortable with the process of using an online calculator? If not you can visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). They also offer a similar benefits checking service. You’ll need to take all the same information with you when you visit. Because the calculations can’t happen without the details.
The CAB can also help with the benefits that aren’t included in online calculators. These are benefits such as Guardian’s Allowance, Marriage Allowance and Cold Weather Payments. Your local CAB office is also a useful place to go for advice relating to maternity and paternity pay.
If you’re entitled to more benefits…
You can apply for many benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance, online. In other cases, you may be able to download and print a form that you can send in the mail. Or, you can visit the Citizens Advice Bureau, your local Job Centre or your local council office. The exact process you follow will vary from place to place. So it’s worth searching online to find the right forms to fill in.
If you think you might have been eligible for more benefits for a while, you may be able to get your claim backdated. This will provide you with a bigger cash boost when you first start claiming. You will need a good reason yet. Which is why it’s important to check your benefits entitlement to you’re not missing out.