In the last Resident Voice Index™ report, ‘Surviving but not living’, the results collected from over 5,200 UK social housing residents showed that 33% would not know where to get support from if they were to experience a financial struggle. There is help out there, so this lack of awareness of what’s available needs to be tackled.
It is estimated that over £15 billion worth of benefits are being left unclaimed by households in the UK. Alongside that, cheaper social tariffs for bills, other grants and discounts are also falling by the wayside. For many people, this could mean that there is help available, but they simply do not know what they’re entitled to. Below are 10 suggestions of services that might be able to help.
Turn2us offer a benefits calculator that can help users see whether they are eligible for any benefits, grants or funds that may alleviate financial hardship. To access this service, click here.
- Claim what’s yours (Wales)
For those living in Wales, the government have a dedicated free helpline where a trained advisor can help steer service users towards benefits they may be eligible for and inform them of the evidence they will need to gather to claim it. Call the free helpline on 0808 250 5700.
- Benefits Guide
If you’ve established what you’re eligible for, this site could be useful. It explains each benefit and how to claim it in a clear and user-friendly way. Check it out by clicking here.
- Money Helper
This site is full of useful tips for accessing grants or schemes that could ease the cost of living. This link here encourages people to check their payslip to make sure they are on the right tax code.
- Contact your Broadband provider
Many broadband providers offer ‘social tariffs’ to households on a low income. They are heavily discounted but it’s estimated that only 1 or 2% of those who could get this discount do!
- Child trust funds
Do you have a child that was born in the UK between September 1st 2002 and January 2nd 2011? These children were set up with an automatic trust fund that could be worth up to £2,200! Have a look at how to claim it here.
In terms of childcare (for children born in any year), it’s worth checking out this article: Childcare what you’re entitled to
Only half of those who are eligible for a tax break from the Marriage Allowance claim it. Check if you’re eligible and apply for it here!
- Over 67?
For those at pension age and unable to increase their income via work it is incredibly important to check what to claim.
In July 2022, Age UK found that over a third of those eligible for Pension Credit do not receive it.
Additionally, 16% of pensioner households – nearly 220,000 homes – are eligible to have their rent topped up by housing benefit, but don’t yet receive it. You can get it as part of the Pension Credit claim here.
- Claim Universal Credit?
Many of those who get Universal Credit can access the ‘Help-to-Save’ account. You can save between £1 and £50 each month for 4 years and for every £1 saved, you get given an additional 50p. Apply for one here.
- Do you work in education?
‘Discounts for teachers’ gives access to loads of discounts from high street shops like Sainsbury’s and TKMAXX. Those who work in schools – and even those who volunteer in them but are not teachers – can apply. You can join the scheme for free here.
These 10 resources are by no means an exhaustive list for everything that people could be entitled to, but it’s a good place to start. As things are predicted to get tougher in the near future, it’s important to check out what you’re entitled to but also to share this information with those around you – you never know who it might help!
You can read the ‘Surviving but not living’ report here.
The HomeSwapper Customer Support team are always on hand to give advice and tips on how to get the most from HomeSwapper. They deal with Swappers every day and have a unique insight and view on the thousands of successful swaps that take place on HomeSwapper.