There may be times where you are struggling with your finances and your household income isn’t enough to pay for essential items, such as food, fuel and rent. Sometimes you will need short term support to help you until your circumstances improve again. This is why it is important you claim any benefits you are entitled to. There are a number of out of work benefits you might be entitled to, such as:
Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is a benefit paid to working age people who are looking for employment. Most JSA applications are completed online but in exceptional circumstances claims can be completed over the phone.
The amount of JSA you will receive will depend on your individual circumstances such as whether it is a single or joint claim, your age and any personal savings. Even if you are not fit for work for more than 2 weeks and less than 13 weeks you can claim JSA; but after 13 weeks should apply for ESA.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit which you can claim if you are unable to work due to sickness or disability. Claims can be made online, over the phone or through the post.
The amount of ESA you will receive will depend on your individual circumstances such as your age and any personal savings.
Income Support (IS) is a benefit you can claim if you are considered to be ‘vulnerable’. You are considered to be vulnerable if you are a single mother with a child under the age of five, or if you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.
Claims can be made over the phone or through the post.
Pension Credit (PC)
Pension Credit (PC) is an income related benefit which acts as a ‘top up’ if you qualify for the benefit and are on a low income. PC claims can be joint or single. Claims can be made over the phone or you can request home visit.
Universal Credit (UC)
Universal Credit is a new benefit introduced by the government in April 2013. Universal Credit aims to make the welfare benefits system simpler by bringing together the following six benefits into one:
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people with long term ill-health or disability who are aged 16-64. Your PIP payment will be based on an assessment to see how your disability affects your condition and the sort of things you need support with. PIP payments are there to help you with additional costs associated with your condition, such as any extra support or care you need. The claim needs to be made over the phone. If you are aged under 16 and over 64 you can claim DLA by requesting the claim pack over the phone.
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) is a government fund which provides additional support to people who are in receipt of Housing Benefit. This support is often short term and covers specific costs, such as help with covering a shortfall in your rent. There is an eligibility condition which you will have to meet during the assessment stage when you apply for DHP.
Housing Benefit (HB)
Housing Benefit (HB) is a benefit to help people who are on low income or in receipt of benefits pay their rent but does not cover ineligible service charges. HB is income based so any earnings or savings will be taken into account when you make a claim. Your entitlement to HB will also depend on the level of rent you pay, your household and what the government says you are entitled to.
HB may not cover your entire rent costs so it is important that you pay for any shortfall HB does not cover.
Council Tax Support (CTS)
Council Tax Support (CTS) is funding managed by Barnet Council which can help you reduce your Council Tax bill if you are on a low income or in receipt of benefits. Applications can be made online or over the phone.
Hardship Grants (also referred to as Hardship Funds) are grants which can come from a number of places, such as charities. These can help you pay for things such as fuel, food, rent and school uniform. Individual charities have more information about what help they can offer people.