HOUSEHOLDS on Universal Credit struggling with bills could get free money to help them through the cost of living crisis.
Many people need to borrow to cover basic needs, but you can get help that you don’t have to repay.
Help for people on Universal Credit and other benefits ranges from council tax cuts to supermarket food stamps.
Here we’ve rounded up all the help you could get and how to claim it.
Check your benefit entitlements
Just because you have Universal Credit doesn’t mean that’s all you can get.
Millions of Britons are deprived of the benefits to which they are entitled, amounting to billions of pounds in total unclaimed each year.
Benefit calculators can help you check what you may be entitled to.
For example, you might get extra money for caring for someone else or for housing costs.
There are several benefit checker tools you can use – here’s our guide.
Benefit from a discount on the residence tax
Council tax is one of the biggest and most important household bills – if you fall behind, you could be asked to pay the whole year upfront.
Non-payment can also result in bailiffs visiting your home, legal action, or even imprisonment.
Paying this bill is a priority, so if you are having difficulty, you should seek help immediately.
And you can also find help from charities such as Citizens Advice.
Struggling Brits can also have their tax debt written off using a little-known rule.
Many don’t know that they could get a reduction on their council tax bill, or be completely exempt from paying it.
Discounts are available for people with low incomes, people claiming certain benefits, carers and other circumstances.
The amount by which your bill is reduced can vary from 25% to 100%, which means that you pay nothing at all for this bill.
You can check when you could qualify for council tax reduction in our guide or contact your local council to check what help you can apply for and apply.
Around 80% of households will benefit from a £150 council tax rebate to help with the rising cost of living.
You’ll get it if you’re in AD council tax brackets, and a discretionary fund is also available for households that aren’t eligible or need extra help and will also make payments up to £150.
Here’s everything you need to know about the diet.
Low-income families may be eligible for charitable grants to help cover housing costs.
Since grants are generally different from loans, most do not have to be repaid.
Turn2Us has a tool that can help you find available grants near you on its website.
You will need to enter personal information such as your zip code, gender, and age.
Energy providers are offering cash grants to those hardest hit by rising bills.
For example, British Gas is distributing up to £750 through its hardship fund.
But the amount can vary depending on your provider and your situation, so ask directly what’s on offer and how to apply.
Household Support Fund
Additional cash totaling £500m has been given to councils to distribute to struggling families.
The household support fund previously included vouchers to spend at the supermarket and to buy children’s clothes in one area and £100 cash in another.
The help you can get depends on your location and your situation.
You can find your local council by using this tool and searching for your postcode. to see what help is available near you.
Cash to pay the rent
There is cash support for anyone in difficulty which is available from your local council through the Discretionary Housing Payment.
Anyone claiming housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit could be eligible if they are struggling with rent costs.
Each local authority distributes the money to people in need on a case-by-case basis and the amounts available may vary.
Here’s everything you need to know about who can get the money and how to claim it.
Social assistance scheme
Some councils also offer support through the Social Support Fund, to help cover the costs of basic necessities, from buying new furniture to food stamps.
A survey by The Sun has found hard-core Britons can apply for aid worth up to £1,000.
But the exact amount you get and why you get it depends on where you live – and not all tips have this help.
Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis and there will be a different application process depending on where in the country you live.
You can find out who your local council is by visiting the gov.uk website and get in touch with them to find out if help is available in your area.
Work from home cash
If you’ve worked from home for even a single day since the pandemic began, you could get your taxes back.
This is worth up to £125 a year for the previous two years and you can claim for both if you haven’t already.
Millions of people still haven’t claimed the cashback, but there’s still time to do so.
HMRC has a simple tool you can use to apply – here’s what you need to do.
You could get Universal Credit paid early this Christmas and these are the dates you could get it.
You might receive a bonus payment this Christmas, so check your statement.
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