Help if you’re on a low income

People who are on a low income may be entitled to receive help with their day-to-day costs. Your household income will usually determine whether you’re eligible.

Working Tax Credit

For most people, Working Tax Credit, a benefit for people who work and are on a low income, has been replaced by Universal Credit. You can now only make a new claim for Working Tax Credit if you are receiving or are eligible for the Severe Disability Premium. You can do this by calling HMRC on 0345 300 3900.

If you do not receive the Severe Disability Premium but you are on a low income, you might be able to apply for:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit (if you’re of Pension Credit qualifying age)

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is paid to people who are on a low income or out of work. You cannot claim Universal Credit if you’re already receiving any of the following:

  • Income-related ESA
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

You also cannot receive Universal Credit if you receive the Severe Disability Premium, or have received it in the last month and are still eligible to receive it.

Universal Credit is paid monthly (or twice monthly for some people in Scotland), and the amount you receive will depend entirely on your circumstances.

Pension Credit

One in three people who are eligible for Pension Credit don’t claim it and end up missing out on hundreds of pounds every year. It’s a benefit that’s intended to support people (of state pension age) who are on a low income.

Pension Credit has two parts:

  • Guarantee Credit
  • Savings Credit

Guarantee Credit will give you an additional weekly income of a guaranteed amount of £167.25 if you’re single, or £255.25 if you’re married or in a civil partnership.

Savings Credit is given to people of qualifying age who have contributed other provisions or savings other than the basic State Pension. Savings Credit will provide an additional income of £13.72 a week for a single person, or £15.35 if you’re married or in a civil partnership.

But, in order to qualify for savings credit you must have reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

Additional Pension Credit is also awarded in special circumstances. You may be eligible for a larger benefit amount if:

  • You’re disabled
  • You a carer
  • You’ve got certain housing costs to cover e.g. mortgage interest payments.

For more information on Pension Credit, read our article Pension Credit explained.

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