Increasing your income

Benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit

There is a range of different types of benefits and tax credits which you might be entitled to. During 2013, the Government introduced a new benefit called Universal Credit. Whether you can claim any of these benefits will depend on your circumstances.

Some benefits are based on the National Insurance contributions you have paid. These include contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or contributory Employment and Support Allowance, pensions and maternity benefits.

Other benefits and the new Universal Credit are means-tested. This means the amount of help you get depends on how much money you already have coming into your home. There are also limits on how much you are allowed to have in savings and still claim. These benefits 'top up' any income you already have. You do not need to have paid National Insurance contributions to claim them.

Universal Credit

Extra advice:

housing costs and Universal Credit

If you claim Universal Credit, the DWP will normally pay at least some of the interest on your mortgage and secured loan payments, as long as you do no work. This would be a secured loan and not a benefit. The rules about how much help you can get from Universal Credit are complicated. If you are not sure about whether you can claim, contact us for advice.

In 2013, Universal Credit began to replace the following benefits and tax credits.

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit.

Some people who make a new claim for these benefits will get Universal Credit. Eventually everyone who makes a new claim for benefits will get Universal Credit.

Between 2013 and 2022, most people claiming the old benefits and tax credits should be transferred onto Universal Credit.

You can see more information about many of these benefits at Type the name of the benefit into the search box. You can use a benefits checker such as the benefits calculator at