Check if you have unclaimed entitlements
You can check your estimated benefit entitlement online using a benefit calculator.
Why check? Don't assume that your income is too high to be entitled to Universal Credit. With changes to Universal Credit introduced in November 2021, working households are now more likely to qualify for Universal Credit than ever before.
Senior research economist Tom Waters said of the 2021 change to work allowance rates: 'Another 600,000 families will become entitled to at least some Universal Credit, bringing the total to seven million – a quarter of working-age families.
'It means that UC will now reach a long way up the earnings distribution – some families would still be entitled even if they became higher rate taxpayers.'
The RCN Foundation Benevolent Service find that Universal Credit and its additional elements, as well as Council Tax Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, are among the benefits most frequently left unclaimed by nurses and nursing support workers who are eligible for benefits without realising.
An estimated £16 billion worth of benefit entitlement is unclaimed per year.
Bear in mind that backdating rules mean that if a claim is made too late, you won't usually get the money back for previous months when you had been eligible.
Key services available
Citizen’s Advice have helplines. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
Adviceline (England): 0800 144 8848
Adviceline (Wales): 0800 702 2020
Advice for Scotland: 0800 028 1456
Advice for Northern Ireland: 0800 915 4604
For help or advice about claiming Universal Credit contact the Help to Claim Service. They can guide you through the claim and discuss with you if you’d be eligible for an ‘Advance Payment’ if you need money quickly during the early stage of your claim.
Universal Credit service centre Northern Ireland: 0800 012 1331.