What are benefits?
Benefits are paid by the government to people who are unable to work or are on a low income. There are several types of benefits which provide financial support to help people meet their living costs. You may be able to apply for benefits if:
If you’re struggling financially, for example if you’re unable to meet your essential costs and/or pay your debts, you should check if you’re entitled to any benefits that you’re not already claiming, You can find more information about the benefits that are available by visiting https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits.
What types of benefits are there?
UK benefits often fall into two categories: means tested and non-means tested.
Means Tested Benefits
If a benefit is means tested, this means the government takes into account your financial situation when deciding your eligibility and how much you should receive in benefits. If you apply for a means tested benefit, it often means that the more income or savings you (or your overall household) has, the fewer benefits you will receive. This of course is not always the case, and takes into account many other elements with different types of benefits focusing on different factors.
Some most commonly known means- tested benefits include:
Non-means tested Benefits
In contrast to means tested, non-means tested benefits do not take into account your income or savings when deciding your eligibility. They do however have their own set of criteria, which falls into three categories:
Am I eligible for benefits?
If you think you may qualify for any of the kinds of benefits mentioned above, you can check online to see if you are eligible. Our benefits calculator will tell you what you may be eligible for.
What information do I need to apply for benefits?
When applying for benefits you will need (at the ready) accurate information about your:
For more information about benefits, you can contact Money Helper on 0800 138 7777 or you can visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau.