Benefits Awareness Month

As the arguments rage over the country’s finances in general and the welfare budget in particular, one fact is not in dispute: thousands of low income households do not check their entitlement to benefits.

This is Benefits Awareness Month, organised by Turn2Us which helps people in financial need find welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. Their research suggests that as many as a third of households with low income could be missing out on benefits, because they simply have not checked what they could be claiming. 

The research looked at low income households that had experienced a significant change in circumstances over the past year – illness or a disability, change in working hours, childbirth or family breakdown. Nine out of ten who had experienced just one of these changes said they were struggling to pay for food and other essentials, while more than half said that their financial struggles were affecting their health.

 Checking benefit and grant entitlement should be one of the very first tasks when a major life change affects your family finances.  The Turn2Us free online Benefits Calculator can help establish which benefits you may be able to claim and will also lead you through the application process.

Alison Taylor, Director of Operations at Turn2us, said: “Many low-income households are already struggling to afford basic goods - just one change in their situation is enough to push them into real financial hardship.

“That change could be an unexpected bill, becoming ill, bereaved or losing your job. Support is often available through the benefits system but many people are just not aware of the benefits they are entitled to. Through this campaign we aim to highlight the support available, so people are not left struggling without help, at a time they need it most.”

For more on the Turn2Us survey, click here