Make sure you’re getting the right entitlements
If you’re on a low income you might be entitled to extra benefits and entitlements. Find out more about what’s available.
- Help to pay for essential things
- Home and housing support
- If you’re older
- If you’re expecting or bringing up children
- If you’re ill, injured or disabled
- Other financial help
- Use a benefit calculator
- Where to get free help and advice
Help to pay for essential things
If you’re receiving certain income-related benefits and need help to pay for essentials like clothing, furniture or rent you might be able to get an interest-free Budgeting Loan.
Find out about Budgeting Loans and get an application form on the GOV.UK website.
If you’re getting Universal Credit, you need to apply for a Budgeting Advance.
Find out more about Budgeting Advances on the Citizens Advice website.
If you’re on a low income you could get help towards the costs of arranging a funeral.
Home and housing support
Support for Mortgage Interest
If you’re receiving certain income-related benefits and you’re struggling to keep up with the interest on your mortgage, you might be able to get extra money as part of your benefits.
This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) and it can pay the interest (but not the capital repayments) on mortgages up to £200,000.
Payments are made directly to your lender 39 weeks after you first apply for this benefit so you should claim as soon as you can.
If you’re on income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can only get SMI for up to two years.
Under government proposals, from April 2018 if you make a claim for SMI, payments will be made as a loan. You will have to repay the loan either when you sell your house or voluntarily when you’re able to (for example when you return to work).
If you’re renting from either a private or social housing landlord and you’re receiving certain income-related benefits you could get money to help pay your rent.
Housing Benefit is one of the six benefits being replaced by Universal Credit.
Universal Credit and housing costs
If you’re invited to claim Universal Credit you might get a housing costs element to go towards your rent or mortgage interest payments.
If you’re renting you’ll be responsible for paying the rent to your landlord yourself.
If you want to make some changes to your home to cut your power bills, go green and reduce the amount of energy you use. You could get help towards the costs.
If you’re older
Winter Fuel Payments
You might be able to get extra money to help you with the fuel bills during the winter.
Free TV licences
- 75 or older, you are eligible to apply for a free TV Licence. You can do this online or by calling 0300 790 6112, you’ll need your National Insurance number to do this.
- Blind or severely sight impaired you’re eligible to apply for a 50% concession online here
- Living in a nursing or residential care home they might be able to get a concessionary rate, find out more here
Free bus travel and concessions
If you are over 60 or disabled find out about travel concessions below.
Medical costs for war pensioners
If you need medical treatment because you were disabled while serving in the Armed Forces, you could get help towards your medical costs.
War Disablement Pension
If you were injured or disabled while serving in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005 you can get extra help towards your pension.
If you’re expecting or bringing up children
Education Maintenance Allowance
If you’re in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland and you’re aged 16–18 you could get weekly help with the cost of education.
If you’re in England you might be able to get the 16-19 Bursary Fund to help with the costs of studying.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
If you’re receiving certain income-related benefits you could get a one-off payment to help you with maternity and baby items.
Free school meals
Find out more about free school meals:
- England on the GOV.UK website
- Scotland on the Scottish Government website
- Wales on the Welsh Government website
- Northern Ireland on the nidirect website
Help with the cost of uniforms
Find out about help with school clothing costs
- In England on the GOV.UK website
- in Scotland on the Citizens Advice website
- in Wales on the Welsh Government website
- in Northern Ireland on the nidirect website
If you’re ill, injured or disabled
You might qualify for help towards some NHS charges if you’re on Income Support.
Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme
You might qualify for help towards the cost of transport if you’re on Income Support and need to travel to get medical treatment.
Disabled Facilities Grant
If you’re disabled you might be able to get money towards the cost of adapting your home for your needs.
Disabled Students’ Allowance
If you’re disabled, have an ongoing health or mental health condition or from a learning disability you could get extra financial help.
Blue Badge Parking Scheme
If you’re disabled you could apply for a badge allowing you to park closer to where you need to be.
Reduced Earnings Allowance
If your earning potential is reduced because you’re disabled you might be entitled to extra support.
Vaccine Damage Payment
If you’ve been severely disabled as a result of a vaccination against certain diseases, you could get a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000.
Other financial help
Cold Weather Payments
Get extra money towards your heating bills during the cold weather if you’re getting income-related benefits.
- Find out more about Cold Weather Payments on the GOV.UK website
Support to help you get through a crisis or live independently
If you’re facing an emergency, there might be local help available. This is known as local welfare assistance.
- If you live in England, see this interactive map on the Children’s Society website to find your local welfare assistance scheme
- If you live in Scotland, find out more about the Scottish Welfare Fund on the Scottish Government website
- If you live in Wales, find out more about the Discretionary Assistance Fund
- If you live in Northern Ireland, find out more about changes to the Social Fund on the nidirect website
Use a benefit calculator
If you live in Northern Ireland – find out more about what benefits and financial support you might be entitled to on the nidirect websiteopens in new window.