Means-tested benefits for working-age people are gradually being replaced by Universal Credit. Means-testing is when you are assessed on whether you have enough money to live on. If you already have enough income or savings, you may not qualify for means-tested benefits.
You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you have a low income or do not work. You may receive more money if you have children or if you have a disability or health condition which affects your ability to work.
If you get the severe disability premium as part of means-tested benefits you receive, you won’t be able to claim Universal Credit at this time.
If you are struggling financially you may be able to borrow money through a hardship payment. For more information on Universal Credit and how to claim, please visit the Universal Credit information pages on gov.uk or the DWP have created a website called Understanding Universal Credit.
Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been replaced for adults by PIP, although you may continue to receive Disability Living Allowance until you are transferred to the new benefit, depending on how long your benefit was awarded for. If you were born before 8th April 1948 you will continue to receive Disability Living Allowance for as long as you remain entitled.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
If you are employed and have been injured in an accident at work, or you have a disease that has been caused by your work, you may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. For more information visit gov.uk.
Children and Young People
A parent or guardian can claim Disability Living Allowance on behalf of a disabled child under 16 if they have problems with mobility or need more help with personal care than would be expected for their age, or a much greater need for supervision throughout the day or night. For more information on Child DLA visit gov.uk.
If you are a young person under 25 and need help and support in Norfolk, you can get in touch with MAP.
Once you have reached state retirement age you can claim Pension Credit. This is a means-tested benefit that can top-up a state retirement pension. You may be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or health condition and need help with care. You may also be eligible for a Winter Fuel Allowance and further help. For more information on which benefits older people may be entitled to, visit Age UK.
If you care for someone else you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. You need to be caring for the person for 35 hours a week or more and you cannot earn over a certain amount each week.
To be eligible, the person you are caring for must receive certain benefits such as PIP, DLA, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
Carer’s Allowance can affect any other benefits that either you receive or the person you care for receives, for example they may no longer receive a severe disability premium as part of another benefit.
For more information on Carer’s Allowance please visit the information pages on gov.uk.
If you pay rent on your home and are on a means-tested benefit you may be entitled to Housing Benefit. Means-tested benefits are paid to people with no or low income or savings.
Housing benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit, but you can make a new claim if you get severe disability premiums, you have reached the state pension age or live in temporary or supported accommodation.
Housing Benefit is paid by your local authority. The amount of benefit is only enough to cover what is called your ‘eligible rent’. This may be less than your actual rent. The local authority decides what they think is a reasonable rent.
Anyone who is currently claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit who needs more help with housing costs can apply for a
Discretionary Housing Payment. There are also Council Tax Support schemes which could reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay. You need to contact your local council to apply, you can find yours here.
Visit the gov.uk Housing Benefit information page for more information.
Some benefits could be stopped or reduced if you don’t stick to things in your claimant commitment or action plan. You may have signed a claimant commitment which says what you are going to do as part of claiming your benefits, such as taking part in training and attending meetings at the Jobcentre.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction in addition to another benefit which is sanctioned, the Jobcentre may contact the council who could stop these benefits. It is best to contact the council as soon as you can to discuss this.
You might be able to apply for a hardship payment if you are unable to pay for essentials and are in a vulnerable group. Speak to your Jobcentre and they should help you to make an application.
You can appeal against benefit sanctions. For more information on benefit sanctions, how to avoid them and how to appeal a decision visit the Money Advice Service Website.
For more information regarding Universal Credit being stopped or reduced, you can visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website.