Benefit calculators quickly check if you are missing out on extra DWP support within minutes


The surging cost of living is pushing more and more households towards breaking point as rapidly rising food and fuel prices sent inflation to another 30-year high of 7% for March.

Amid warnings that the situation does not yet take account of the average 54% hike in energy bills that was applied to around 22 million households at the start of April, the situation is predicted to get worse over the coming months.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts UK inflation will now average 7.4% this year and peak at 8.7% in October as the Ukraine conflict compounds the crisis – the highest level since the oil shock of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Worryingly, other costs are expected to increase this year and most households will have already stripped their budgets back as far as they can go.

The Resolution Foundation recently said each household can expect outgoings to increase by £1,200 this year – along with rising energy, food and fuel bills, there is also a National Insurance rate rise that came into effect this month.

What can I do to avoid the pinch?

Unfortunately, there’s no way around it – households are already thinking carefully about their spending across the board to counter those price rises they cannot control such as energy and fuel.

But one area many people may not have thought about is applying for extra financial support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Even consumer champion, Martin Lewis, recently advised households earning less than £30,000 to use an online benefits calculator to check if they qualify for any benefits, discounts or reductions.



Now is the time to explore every available option to help increase your income.

What is an online benefits calculator?

Online benefit calculators quickly work out if you are missing out on any benefits and best of all, they are completely free, independent and confidential to use – so there’s nothing to lose.

In just a few minutes you could find out how much you may be able to claim in extra support, just by entering details about yourself, your residential status, your working status and any savings you have.

You can use an independent benefits calculator to find out:

  • What benefits you could get
  • how to claim
  • How your benefits will be affected if you start work

Where to find help

Advice Direct Scotland

This online tool is the first to fully integrate returned benefits, including the Scottish Child Payment.

It provides a free and impartial assessment of entitlement to a range of benefits such as Universal Credit, crisis grants and support payments.

turn2us

Information on income-related benefits, Tax Credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.

Policy in Practice

Information on income-related benefits, Tax Credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.

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Information on income-related benefits, Tax Credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work.

What you will need

You will need accurate information about your:

  • Savings

  • Income, including your partner’s

  • Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)

  • Outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments)

  • Latest Council Tax bill

To keep up to date with the cost of living crisis, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter hereor subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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