MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis is encouraging anyone who earns £40,000 or less to check if they are entitled to DWP benefits like Universal Credit as figures show up to seven million Britons are still missing out on benefits they are entitled to. One Martin Lewis fan has shared how he discovered he was eligible to claim £500 a month after reading a Money Saving Expert (MSE) newsletter.
The start of a new year is a great time to check benefits entitlement and some seven million Britons who aren’t claiming are due some financial help from the DWP.
Martin Lewis recently reminded people to conduct a benefits check saying the “golden rule of thumb” was for those earning £40,000 or less to spend a few minutes having a look, although this is of course no guarantee.
His tips can be life-changing for Britons struggling to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis with one fan Jaxster69 thanking the financial journalist for his suggestion after he went on to receive £500 a month in Universal Credit following one of Martin Lewis’ weekly emails.
The MSE forumite said: “Thanks to a link I spotted in one of Martin’s weekly emails, I discovered I was entitled to some Universal Credit to boost my income.”
READ MORE: Check state pension before deadline as it could make you thousands
A benefits check should take about 10 minutes to complete with an instant estimation of what claimants could be eligible for.
There are handy benefit calculators from entitledto, Turn2us, and Policy in Practice on the GOV.UK website.
It will save time if people have information to hand on savings and income, including that of a partner which is usually on a payslip or p45.
People should also have details of existing benefits and pensions, outgoings such as rent, mortgage and childcare payments and a recent council tax bill.
Meanwhile, millions of Britons are missing out on a 50 percent boost to savings because they haven’t opened a Help to Save account.
These Government subsidised accounts are available to people on Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit.
Help to Save accounts encourage people on a low income to put money away for the unexpected or start a rainy day fund.
The scheme matches 50p for every £1 invested by the individual – so if someone puts away the maximum of £50 a month for four years, they will receive a total bonus of £1,200 from the Government.
Universal Credit payment rates are increasing in April 2023. The exact payments someone will receive will depend on their circumstances:
- Single under 25: £292.11 (a difference of £26.80)
- Single 25 or over: £368.74 (a difference of £33.83)
- Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (a difference of £42.06)
- Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (a difference of £53.10)