What it is....

Benefits are available to a wide range of people and for a wide range of different circumstances.

Below is a list of the different types of benefit, who can get them and where to apply.

Income support

It's for people who all the following apply to:

  • are between age 16 and the age they can get Pension Credit
  • have a low income
  • work less than 16 hours a week, depending on the amount of your wage
  • aren't in full-time study (but there are some exceptions)
  • don't get Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • don't have savings above £16,000
  • live in Great Britain

You may get Income Support if you are one of the following:

  • a parent
  • on parental or paternity leave
  • a carer
  • a refugee learning English who arrived less than a year ago

Young people in relevant education may also get Income Support. Generally this means full-time education up to GCE A-level or Scottish Certificate of Education (Higher level). This might apply if you:

  • are a parent
  • don't live with a parent or someone acting as a parent
  • are at serious risk of abuse or violence
  • are a refugee learning English

Contact Jobcentre Plus - 0800 055 6688 or click here

Jobseekers Allowance

To get Jobseeker's Allowance you must be:

  • available for, capable of and actively seeking work
  • aged 18 or over but below State Pension age
  • working less than 16 hours per week on average, depending on the amount of your wage
  • in Great Britain

Jobseeker's Allowance isn't normally paid to 16 or 17 year olds, except in special cases.

There are two types of Jobseeker's Allowance, 'contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance' and 'income-based Jobseeker's Allowance'.

Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance

You may be entitled to claim contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions (NICs). Jobcentre Plus can pay this for up to 182 days. Generally, self-employed contributions will not help you qualify for contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

This is based on your income and savings. You may get this if you have not paid enough NICs (or you've only paid contributions for self-employment) and you're on a low income.

Contact 0800 055 6688 or click here

16 - 19 Bursary

This replaces the old Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

If you’re aged between 16 and 19 years and think you might struggle with the costs for full-time education or training you may receive a bursary.

Students most in need will be eligible to receive a bursary of £1,200 a year. This group includes:

  • people in care
  • care leavers
  • people claiming income support
  • disabled young people who receive Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

Other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider.

Unlike the EMA, schools, colleges and training providers will be responsible for awarding bursaries to students. With the exception of the £1,200 bursaries for students most in need, they decide on the amount. They will also decide when bursaries are paid, and will set conditions that students should meet to receive a bursary, for example, linked to behaviour or attendance.

Contact - Your school or college

Council Tax Benefit

You may get Council Tax Benefit if you pay Council Tax and your income and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level. You may apply whether you rent or own your home, or live rent-free. You could qualify if you are out of work, or in work and earning a wage.

Contact - Your Local Council - Click here

Health Cost Benefits

Most National Health Service (NHS) treatment is free but there can be charges for some things. You may be able to get help with NHS health costs if for example you're on a low income.

What is covered

You may be able to get help with health costs like:

  • NHS prescription charges
  • NHS dental treatment, including check-ups
  • sight tests
  • vouchers towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses
  • travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment under the care of a consultant or on referral by a doctor or dentist
  • wigs and fabric supports, such as abdominal and spinal supports

Who is eligible

You may get help with the cost of charges if at least one of the following applies.

You are getting or are included in an award of:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit
  • Working Tax Credit with either Child Tax Credit or a disability element (depending on your income)

You may also get help with the cost of charges if:

  • you are named on a valid NHS Exemption Certificate (HC2 for full help, HC3 for partial help with the cost excluding prescriptions)
  • you're 60 or over (for NHS prescriptions and NHS sight tests)
  • you're under 16, under 18 for NHS dental treatment
  • you're under 19 and still in full-time education
  • you suffer from a listed medical condition (for free NHS prescriptions only), for more information contact the Health Cost advice line on 0845 850 1166
  • you have a maternity exemption certificate (for NHS dental treatment and NHS prescription charges)
  • you get a war or service disablement pension or need prescriptions or NHS treatment for your accepted disability
  • you're a prisoner in England

Contact - You'll need to complete form HC1 from a Jobcentre Plus office or NHS hospital. You may also be able to get an HC1 from your doctor, dentist or optician.

You can also get an HC1 form by contacting the Health Cost advice line on 0845 850 1166.

Disability Living Allowance

You may get Disability Living Allowance if:

  • you have a physical or mental disability, or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or you have walking difficulties, or both
  • you are under 65 when you claim

You can get Disability Living Allowance whether or not you work.

It isn't usually affected by any savings or income you may have.

If you're aged 65 or over, you may be able to get Attendance Allowance.

Contact - Click here

Check your entitlements

You can phone the Benefits helpline on 0800 882200 or you can check online with this Benefits Advisor

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