UK Benefit and Tax Credit Income – How to apply

UK Benefit
UK Benefit

The extra UK Benefit you might be able to claim could make a big difference to your current financial position and the debt solutions we can offer you to resolve your debt problems.

The important point to bear in mind is that Benefits income are NOT simply for the jobless. In addition, someone who makes approximately ? 78,000/ year can be qualified. In addition, if your circumstances have not changed, many policies have.

As much as eight million households are missing 21 billion a year of means-tested UK Benefits, the most up to date Government figures show.

What are UK Benefits?

Benefits and tax credits are payments from the UK government to certain people on low incomes, or to meet specific needs. They can help you if you:

  • Are on a low income
  • Are out of work
  • Have children
  • Are pregnant
  • Are sick or disabled
  • Death in family
  • Are a carer

Who administers UK Benefits?

Different organisations administer different Benefits. These include:

Department for Work and Pensions DWP, which operates through agencies such as Jobcentre Plus and The Pensions Service

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Your Local authorities/councils
  • Employers pay some UK Benefits then claim the money back from the government. Statutory Benefits i.e. Maternity leave etc.

What types of UK Benefits are there?

Benefits usually come under one of two types:

Income based Benefits or Means Tested Benefit

Your entitlement to means-tested Benefits depends on how much you have in income, savings and other capital. You can get these Benefits even if you have not paid enough national insurance contributions.

If you have over a certain amount (the amount the government estimates that you need to live on), your means-tested Benefits are less or not paid at all.

The amount of means-tested Benefits you get can be different for each person. Please Call us to check your income based tax credits and Benefit entitlements.

Non-means-tested UK Benefits

Non-means-tested Benefits do not take into account your income and savings in the same way as means-tested Benefits do, but they do have their own rules, which must be met:

1. Contributory UK Benefits.

Benefits are there to support earnings, for example, when you lose your job or are unable to work because of illness or disability.

2. Statutory UK Benefits

Statutory benefits will replace earnings if you are off work due to maternity/adoption/paternity or sickness, these benefit are paid through your employer.

3. Non-contributory UK Benefits

Non-Contributory Benefits there to help with the extra costs of having a disability or caring for someone with a disability. There is no means test and no national insurance contributions conditions; you just have to fit the rules for who can claim.

Universal Credit

Six of the big means-tested working-age UK Benefits have merged into universal which will be full operational by 2023.

Available UK Benefits

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Guarantee Pension Credit
  • Savings Pension Credit
  • Housing UK Benefit
  • Council Tax Support / Rate Relief
  • Child UK Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance

How to claim your UK Benefit and Tax Credit ?

To apply for a UK Benefit Entitlement or tax credit, you will generally have to either fill out a form, on paper or online, or make a phone call. Each UK Benefit has its own claiming process.

Do I need to supply proof to sustain my claim?

Oftentimes, yes. For example, you will usually need your National Insurance & proof of your identity, your personal and family income and savings.

If you have to send your original statements / records, see to it you maintain duplicates as well as send them via recorded delivery to make certain they show up securely.

For how long will it require to process my UK Benefit entitlement and /or tax credit claim?

The time can vary depending upon the advantage.  

The time can vary depending on the UK Benefit type. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agencies and Local Authorities have targets but HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not.

You can help by completing the claim form thoroughly and providing evidence promptly.

What can I do if my UK Benefit /Tax credit claim is delayed?

There are many reasons that a case might be postponed. For example:

  • You might be not able to give a national insurance number quickly
  • There might be a mistake by you or the UK Benefit agency
  • Additional details or proof may be required to sustain your claim
  • There might be hold-ups in refining claims at the advantage firm
  • There might be a trouble with the payment method

If you have actually offered all the details asked for to support your claim, as well as it has been longer than the established target time for processing cases, you may want to get in touch with the appropriate agency to find out why there is a hold-up.

  • Call Jobcentre Plus
  • Contact the Pensions Service
  • Call your local authority/council
  • Contact HM Revenue and Customs

How will I receive the UK Benefit payment?

Most UK Benefits are paid directly to your post office, bank or building society account but there are exceptions.

Council Tax Support will usually go straight to your Council Tax account and will be taken off your Council Tax liability on your bill.

Housing UK Benefit is sometimes paid to you but it may be paid directly to your property owner in some circumstances, but housing association and local council normally would seek your permission to pay rent payment to you or your property owner directly

You can also nominate a person to receive the payment on your behalf if needed.

When will I receive the UK Benefit payment?

When you are paid will depend on the UK Benefit you have claimed. Some UK Benefits are paid weekly, some every four weeks or monthly.

Some are paid in advance and some in arrears.

What do I do if I think UK Benefit income provider has made the wrong decision?

If you are unhappy with a UK Benefit or tax credit decision there are several steps you can take:

  • Get more information about the decision.
  • Get the decision looked at again.
  • Appeal against the decision.

Further information about challenging Benefit decisions.

I am not happy with the way my claim has been handled what can I do?

You have the right to expect a reasonable standard of service from the people dealing with your Benefit claim.

Most offices that deal with Benefits, including your Local Authority, will have a charter or statement of standards of service that sets out what you can expect. You will be able to get this from their offices or websites.

If you are not happy with the level of service you have received then you can make a complaint. You can complain whether or not you have made a claim for Benefit.

The UK Benefit cap

If you are aged 16 to 64, there might be a limit on the total amount of Benefit income you can get.

This is called Benefit cap.

The maximum amount you can now get in Benefit income is:

  • ?23,000 a year if you live in London
  • ?20,000 a year if you live elsewhere in the UK.

Change in circumstances

My situation has changed since making my claim. Do I have to let anyone know?

It is very important to let the relevant Benefit office know when there has been a change in your circumstances, which could affect your Benefit entitlement. This is because your Benefits depend on the information you gave when you made your claim.

When you make a claim, you will be told which changes must be reported and how long you have to report the change.

Common changes include:

  • You start living with someone
  • You stop living with someone. For example, you separate from your partner
  • You get
  • Your hours of work cha
  • You get a pay rise
  • You win or inherit some money
  • Your child reaches the age of 16 or moves out
  • You stop getting UK Benefits like Income Support
  • You go into hospital or into residential care.

Should your circumstances change, you may be entitled to more UK Benefit, less Benefit, or you may no longer be entitled to get the Benefit at all.

If you do not inform the relevant Benefits office you could be paid too much Benefit and have to pay it back, and this could count as fraud, which is a criminal offence.

You may get into trouble if you did not report a change in your circumstances, it is very important to get expert advice as soon as you can.

Separating from a partner

If you have recently separated from a person with whom you used to live as partners, the Benefits you can get may have changed.

After separating from your partner, you may receive some Benefits or tax credits that you were not able to get when living with a partner, or you might get an increased or decreased amount of the same Benefits and Tax Credits.

Generally, any Benefits paid to you personally for your needs, for example, Disability Living Allowance, will continue to be paid once you have separated from a partner. However, you should tell everyone who pays you Benefits or Tax Credits that you have separated, so that they can check if it could affect your Benefit entitlement.

You might be receiving Benefits from Jobcentre Plus, HM Revenue and Customs and/or your local authority and should tell each office about your change.

If you do not let them know as soon as you can that, you are now a single person, you might be paid too much Benefit that you may have to pay back.

Rajnish Tyagi is an experienced and Cert DR qualified debt advisor. He works for Acme Credit Consultants Ltd, Who specialise in offering suitable debt solutions to clients and help improve their income by eligible UK Benefit income. Call us on 0203 318 0990 to book a free and Confidential appointment.

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