More than £15bn of benefits go unclaimed from the Treasury each year according to analysis from online benefits calculator Entitledto. If you’re struggling with the rising cost of living and the strict rules around when you can access your pension savings, it’s worth checking you’re claiming any, and all, payments you might be entitled to – it could help make a difference.
Are you missing out on benefits you’re eligible for?
The good news is there’s plenty of support to help you check and claim.
A good first port of call is to visit the benefits calculators page on the government website GOV.UK – it’s an excellent source of information when it comes to finding out what you might be entitled to.
It hosts a series of online calculators providing 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.
And a couple of key benefits to look out for are Pension Credit and Universal Credit.
There’s the possibility you could be eligible for Pension Credit if you’ve reached State Pension age and are on a low income (this varies depending of your date of birth).
Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs and can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges.
It’s separate from your State Pension and you can get Pension Credit even if you have other income, savings or own your own home.
For more information GOV.UK have created their Pension Credit toolkit, it consists of a collection of materials to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.
Check out the pension credit calculator on GOV.UK to see if you might be eligible.
If you’re struggling to pay bills, have lost your job, aren’t able to work or are on low income, you might want to consider claiming Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is a payment for people over 18 but under State Pension age. It includes support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, and financial support for people with disabilities, carers and people too ill to work.
And it’s paid monthly – or twice a month for some people in Scotland.
To make a claim you’ll first need to create a secure Universal Credit online account. You can create your Universal Credit online account at Universal Credit online - GOV.UK, it’s simple to do and all you’ll need is your email and access to your phone.
Tips to get started
Before using the benefit calculators provided you’ll need some key details to hand, these include:
- Any savings
- Your single or joint income
- Your single or joint existing benefits
- Any income from a state or personal pension
- Any outgoings such as childcare, rent etc.
It’s also worth noting, if you already receive government benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credits, you may lose eligibility if you take an income from your pension.
MoneyHelper is a government-backed, free and impartial guidance service for money and pensions.
They also have a handy benefits page where you can go to find out what benefits you’re entitled to, how to claim them, when you qualify, and what to do if things go wrong.
They’ve provided a very useful series of guides covering a range of topics such as work, children, health, housing and later life.
How we can support you
You can visit our financial difficulties page for more tips and guidance to help you make the most of your money in uncertain times.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your Standard Life pension payments and would like to take a payment holiday, let us know. Depending on the type of pension plan you have with us, you can do this online or give us a call and we’ll do it for you. If you have a workplace pension, you’ll need to contact your employer to find out your options. It’s important to note that retirement benefits could be reduced if you reduce or stop making payments to your pension.
You can also read our other articles for more tips on money management, making the most of your savings and more.
The information in this article is based on our understanding in August 2022 and should not be regarded as financial advice.
Standard Life accepts no responsibility for information in external websites. These are provided for general information.