Benefit Entitlement Guide - make sure you're getting what you’re entitled to.


Are you entitled to benefits?

Being unaware of benefit entitlements is a common but unavoidable cause of financial hardship. In fact, over £19 billion goes unclaimed every year. If you can say yes to any of the following questions then there’s a possibility that you are entitled to financial support to supplement your income:

  • Are you on a low income and you’re employed or looking for work?
  • Are you ill or disabled?
  • Are you aged 60 or over?
  • Do you have dependent children?
  • Are you pregnant or have you recently had a baby?
  • Are you caring for someone?
  • Have you been bereaved?

How do I find out what benefits I'm entitled to?

The benefits system in the UK is complex. Fortunately, Gov.uk, the UK government’s public services and information website, has an anonymous online benefits calculator that will estimate the benefits you are entitled to.

The guide, which applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, covers all of the main types of benefit including (all links open a new window):

You can access Gov.uk's benefit advisor tool by clicking here.

You can also check your benefit entitlement using Money Saving Expert's benefits checker and Turn2us' benefits search tool.


How do I claim benefits?

Once you know which benefits you may be entitled to, you’ll need to call the relevant numbers listed below in order to get an application form.

Benefit Helpline Numbers
  Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) 0800 055 6688
  Income Support 0800 055 6688
  Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 0800 917 2222
  Child Benefit 0300 200 3100
  Working Tax Credit 0345 300 3900
  Child Tax Credit 0345 300 3900
  Council Tax Benefit Look up your local council
  Housing Benefit Look up your local council
  Attendance Allowance 0345 605 6055
  Carer's Allowance 0845 608 4321

What if my benefit entitlement isn’t enough to cover my debt repayments?

If you’re enquiring about benefit entitlement because you need additional income to help you meet your monthly debt repayments then it might be a good idea to speak to a specialist debt advisor.

The purpose of most benefits is to make sure the basic needs of the recipient are met, which means that any additional income is unlikely to help you meet your credit commitments.

If you have unmanageable debt, there are a number of options that may be available to you that will actually reduce your monthly repayments to a more realistic and affordable level, stop creditors taking enforcement action against you and protect important assets such as your home.

If you require debt advice or need to talk to someone in confidence about any aspect of debt, there's no need to wait or book an appointment, the charity's free debt advice helpline is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm on 0800 043 40 50.

If you're looking to get back in to work or change your career, Gov.uk has a useful employment section, which includes a job search tool as well as information on apprenticeships, work experience and volunteering.