Britons missing out on hundreds each month – check entitlement

Almost eight million people are struggling to pay their bills as living costs surge, a watchdog has warned. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimated that 7.8 million people in the UK currently find bills a “heavy burden”, up from 5.3 million in 2020.

Britons could be missing out on hundreds of extra pounds per month and a financial expert has shared the latest list of benefits and saving bonuses available right now.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, any extra cash could be vital for families on low incomes.

Financial expert and co-founder of Stipendium Christina Melling urged people worried about making ends meet this winter to double-check they’re receiving absolutely everything they’re entitled to.

Ms Melling spoke exclusively with about how people can find benefits available to them.

She said: “The easiest way to find out what you might be entitled to is by using a free benefits calculator, such as ‘Pave’ by Stipendium. It can be tricky to keep on top of benefit schemes and individually check which schemes you’re entitled to, but Pave combines over 4,000 pieces of legislation for you from four different Government departments so that you can check your benefit entitlement from just one tool with confidence.”

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To use Pave, Britons have to fill in their household income and property information and the calculator will pull through the various benefits and support they could be entitled to from the Government. Pave also has a library of new schemes, grants and discounts that people could be eligible for too. Alternatively, Britons could use the benefits calculator on the Government website or independent benefits tools hosted by Policy in Practice, entitledto and Turn2us .

She continued: “With the rate of inflation set to exceed the average increase in wages, there has never been a more important time to research what you could be entitled to. There are multiple new schemes and grants available right now – particularly for those in the lower earnings bracket – designed to support people facing difficulties with rising costs.

“Some people assume that because they’ve never been entitled to benefits before, they don’t bother checking, but they might be surprised.

“The cost of basic goods and services is reaching previously unheard-of heights but it’s the responsibility of each individual to do their own research and claim what they can.”

Ms Melling mentioned various Government schemes and incentives that have been released to help individuals in different circumstances such as:

  • Warm Homes discount
  • Council tax rebates for some bands
  • Cost of Living payment
  • Winter Fuel payments
  • Child benefits


She added: “These are all schemes that Britons could be eligible for right now, so check whether that could be you.”

Ms Melling explained Britons can use benefits calculators to help them understand which benefits they’re entitled to based on their individual circumstances.

For example, single parents who are in rental accommodation and are earning less than £1,200 per month will qualify for the Warm Homes Discount (£150) as well as the Cold Weather Payment of an additional £25 for every seven-day period of very cold weather, all of which helps to keep costly heating bills more manageable.

She said: “They could also qualify for free prescriptions, travel discount cards and cheaper broadband packages, all of which add up and helps everyday expenses become that bit more manageable.

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“Job security is also a primary concern for many during the cost of living crisis, so it’s important to check what your entitlements are if you’ve been made redundant from your job or are taking time out of work due to parental leave or sickness. 

“If you’ve lost your main source of income, you could be entitled to a cost of living payment of up to £324 and there are grants available to support low-income individuals on maternity leave.”

Ms Melling gave examples of different living scenarios and what benefits could potentially be applied for in certain situations.

Scenario 1:

Retired couple living in a rented council house, wife permanently in a wheelchair

  • Universal credit – £799
  • Council tax support – £59)
  • Attendance Allowance – up to £92.40 per week
  • Energy Bill Discount – £400
  • Winter Fuel Payment (between £250 – £600)
  • Band A-D Council Tax rebate – £150
  • Cost of Living Payment (up to £324)
  • Eligible for Warmer Homes package
  • Eligible for cheaper broadband and mobile packages
  • Eligible for free support with energy bill through Priority Services Register
  • Eligible for free prescriptions
  • Eligible for funeral expenses payment

Scenario 2:

Single mum of two living in privately rented two-bedroom home earning £1,200 per month

  • Universal Credit – £975.32
  • Child Benefit – 157.08
  • Energy Bill Discount – £400
  • Warms Homes Discount – £150
  • Cold Weather Payment – £25 for every 7-day period of very cold weather
  • Cost of Living Payment (up to £324)
  • Band A-D Council Tax rebate – £150
  • Free prescriptions
  • Single Persons Council Tax discount
  • Eligible for cheaper broadband and mobile packages
  • Travel discount card – 50 percent off on travel services

Each situation is different, so Britons are encouraged to speak to their local council and do their own research.

Ms Melling explained that there are several categories of different types of benefits and financial support that people may be entitled to.

Those on low incomes could be able to claim:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)
  • Mortgage Interest Run On
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • Free or discounted TV licence.
  • Caring for someone

This low-income support can help people with heating, housing, and other living costs this winter.

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