UK Credit

Martin Lewis warns a million people could miss out on up to £1,900 raise

Speaking on Thursday’s ITV Money Show, Mr Lewis warned that at least a million people were not taking advantage of Universal Credit alone – a benefit aimed at people who are unemployed or on low incomes.

Have you checked what help you may be entitled to?

Martin Lewis has warned that millions of households are not getting lifesaving help – even if their income is £50,000 a year, on tonight’s ITV Money show.

“Millions of you are missing out on the support you’re entitled to,” the consumer expert told viewers during Thursday night’s live special.

He warned that at least a million more people could benefit from Universal Credit – a benefit aimed at unemployed or low-income people, usually aged 18 at the legal retirement age.

‘The amount you get is based on your household income, your childcare costs, your housing costs and it can be up to £1,900 a month in very extreme circumstances,’ Mr Lewis added.

Some single-parent households could be eligible – even if their income can reach £50,000 a year



However, the amount you receive depends on your income, so for example if you or your partner have more than £6,000 in savings, your payments will decrease. Anyone with more than £16,000 will get nothing.

So who is eligible? Martin said his ‘rule of thumb’ is to apply if you have a household income of £30,000.

“If that’s you, I would absolutely check if you’re eligible for Universal Credit. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s worth a 10-minute check.

“Some single parents might qualify even if their income is up to £50,000,” he added.

Households can use’s online calculator to check or view Citizens Advice. We have a handy benefits calculator below that you can use to check your entitlements.

Importantly, if you qualify for Universal Credit, you will also qualify for the Government Savings Assistance Account, which pays 50% back on up to £50 of savings per month.

Additional warning for 3 million claimants

Martin issued a separate warning to people receiving ‘statutory’ benefits, such as tax credits, income support, housing benefit, jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance .

“Over the next few years you will be migrated to Universal Credit, but should you ask to be there now?

“You may find that you get more support changing if you work and pay rent, especially in a city, or if you are a relatively high income earner who gets benefits.

“Use a benefit calculator, but remember that if you apply for Universal Credit, you cannot go back even if you find out you will receive less. So if the calculator shows you can claim it , get an over-advice on that, you can’t ask the government to calculate it.

“Also beware of deductions on Universal Credit. This is when certain debts, such as council tax, rent and energy, are deducted from your standard allowance. This means that even if you get more on Universal Credit, it may not be worth withdrawing your old benefits because of these deductions.

“Finally, Universal Credit is paid monthly, not weekly, which means you may need to budget more.”

Boost for state pensioners

“More than a million people of state retirement age are without pension credits,” Martin said.

“If you have savings you could still be eligible – this applies if your weekly income is below £177 and you’re single, or £270 if you’re in a relationship.”

It is important to note that the pension credit also allows you to obtain a free TV license, a reduction in the council tax and possibly a reduction on the warm house. Learn more about the benefits here.

“It’s also important to look at your national insurance credits,” Martin concluded.

“The more you receive, the higher your state pension.

“If you are a carer on benefits and you work 20 hours a week you could get additional National Insurance credits.

“The same applies if you are caring for a grandchild in the form of grandparent credit if the grandparent has not yet reached statutory retirement age.

If you’re not working, you may also want to consider Child Benefit – whether or not you’re entitled to it, it’s a boost to your National Insurance record and therefore your pension.

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