Benefit calculator: These tools can help you to find out what you’re entitled to

Universal Credit is the benefit that most people will be applying for from here on out but it is still possible to apply for some “legacy benefits”. These are gradually being phased out but they can still be received and applied for under certain circumstances.

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The amount of state benefits available almost stretches into the double digits and each one has unique rules and contexts.

Because of this, it may be confusing for some people to navigate the complex landscape.

This could be especially prevalent in the current climate as coronavirus has forced many people to rely on government payments, in some cases for the first time ever.

The government highlights certain tools which can help with this influx of demand.

Independent benefit calculators are available online that are usually free and provide impartial advice.

These calculators can help people find out what benefits they could get, how to claim them and how the benefits will be affected by work arrangements.

The calculators are anonymous and have replaced the Benefits Advisor service previously run by the government.

There are many available but the state signposts three specific sources on the government website.

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Policy in Practice

This organisation’s calculator provides information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how the benefits will be affected if the claimant starts work or changes their working hours.

entitledto

entitledto is a website dedicated entirely to providing online benefit calculators.

This organisation says it’s home to “authoritative and accurate” calculators which provide a reliable estimate of benefit entitlements based on their in-depth knowledge of the UK’s social security system.

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Turn2us

This national charity provides practical help for all people who are struggling financially.

On top of their calculator, they can also help people search for charitable grants and funds they may be eligible for.

The government details that the user will need to provide accurate information on their:

  • Savings
  • Income, including a partner’s (from payslips, for example)
  • Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with them)
  • Outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments)
  • Council Tax bills.

While most people will be able to use these calculators, there are some limitations in place.

People under 18 will not be able to use the calculators and they will not give accurate results for prisoners, students, non-British or Irish citizens, people on strike, people living outside the UK or individuals living permanently in residential care or a nursing home.

Many new claimants will likely now be directed to claim Universal Credit, as opposed to a legacy benefit.

Most people on low incomes or out of work will be able to apply for Universal Credit so long as they’re also:

  • 18 or over
  • Under state pension age
  • Have less than £16,000 in savings (which is can be combined with a partner)
  • Living in the UK

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