Understanding your benefits

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Benefits are payments from the government to people on low incomes or to meet specific needs.

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Read the information and watch the videos on this page, then have a go at our quiz.

There are benefits available for the following people:

If you are receiving a low income
If you are out of work
If you have children
If you are pregnant
If you are sick or disabled
If you have been bereaved
If you are a carer

Here are some specific benefits:

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It is paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

Are you eligible?

You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

You’re on a low income or out of work
You’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
You’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you.
Check if you are eligible on the government website.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. You cannot claim both Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. However, if you are not eligible for Universal Credit, you may still be eligible for Housing Benefit.

Check if you are eligible on the government website.
Find advice on what to do if you are at risk of losing your home.

Bereavement Support Payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner has died in the last 21 months you may be eligible to receive a support payment, and up to 18 monthly payments following this.

Find out who is eligible.

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