Martin Lewis money tip made me £6,600 a year better off – all it took was a 10 minute check and you can do it too
A MoneySavingExpert.com reader has revealed how a simple 10-minute check made him £6,600 better off a year.
Millions of households are eligible for potentially thousands of pounds a year in benefits and aren’t claiming.
But Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert.com has a calculator people can use to see if they are in line for support.
And in the website’s latest newsletter, an email from one reader named Joel revealed how he is now £550 better off a month after using the tool. That’s £6,600 a year.
He said: “In your weekly email, you encouraged people to check if they’re eligible for Universal Credit.
“I didn’t think I’d qualify, but thought I’d check – turns out I was eligible for £550 a month!
“Thanks so much for the advice, I’d never have checked otherwise.”
The calculator was built for MSE by benefits specialists EntitledTo.
You can use the tool to find out whether you’re in line for help from the government and it should only take around 10 minutes.
You can find the tool by going on MoneySavingExpert.com or EntitledTo’s website.
You’ll need some personal details to hand though, including information on savings, income, pensions and any benefits you are already on.
Also, bear in mind the calculator isn’t 100% accurate, although it will give you a rough idea of what you could get.
Who can get benefits?
You can apply for benefits if you’re out of work, but also if you’re employed.
Around 40% of people on Universal Credit are in work.
But eligibility criteria for all the different types can be complex.
That’s why using benefits calculators are so handy as they do most of the work for you.
There are dozens of different benefits you can apply for if you live in UK.
They’re roughly split into four groups: families, work, low income and health/elderly.
If you need help supporting a family, if you’re a parent say, you can get:
- child benefit
- child tax credits
- maternity/paternity or adoption pay
- marriage allowance
- maternity grants
- maternity allowance
- widowed parent’s allowance
- Scottish child payment
If you’re in work or you’re looking for work you can get working tax credit or jobseeker’s allowance.
If you’re on a low income you can get:
- income support
- income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- income-based employment and support allowance
- pension credit
- housing benefit
- council tax reduction
- free school meals
- support for mortgage interest
- budgeting loans and advances
- funeral payments
- council support schemes
- cold weather payments
If you are ill, disabled or elderly and need help, you can get:
- attendance allowance
- personal independence payment
- carer’s allowance
- new-style employment and support allowance
- sick pay
- state pension
- bereavement support payment
- winter fuel payments
Beyond using a benefits calculator, there are a number of free services available to you if you want to find out what you could be eligible for.
Organisations like Citizens Advice often have branches in most major towns or cities and can offer you free advice.
Plus, charities like Turn2Us can help you get access to benefits if you think you’re entitled to them.
In other news, thousands of households can claim £50 in free supermarket vouchers this Christmas.
Plus, a shopper has revealed how she bagged a giant shopping haul for just £10.