Increasing your income

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit is paid to people with responsibility for children (under 16, or under 20 if in full-time education or certain kinds of approved training). It can be paid whether you are in or out of work, unless you are being paid Universal Credit. The amount you will get depends on your income. Special rules apply to new arrivals in the UK, contact us for advice. For information, ring the Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900. In time this will be replaced by Universal Credit.

Housing Benefit

Extra advice:

questions about benefits

Working out which benefits to claim can be complicated. There are different ways of getting answers to your questions about benefits.

If you would like to speak to someone, contact your local DWP office or the Jobcentre Plus helpline on 0800 055 6688.

You can ask a local advice centre for help or contact us for advice.

You can use an online benefits checker such as the Turn2us benefits calculator.

You may be able to get help with your rent by claiming Housing Benefit from your local council if you are on benefits or a low income. In certain situations, your Housing Benefit can be paid directly to your landlord. Contact us for advice.

The Government put a cap on how much you can receive in benefits if you and your partner are of working age but not working. This is known as the 'benefit cap'. This applies if your combined income from certain benefits is over a set amount and means that the amount of Housing Benefit you receive may be reduced. This cap does not apply if anyone in your household receives particular disability-related benefits and some other pensions.

If you are paid Housing Benefit, the benefit cap will not apply for nine months if you (or your partner) have lost a job which you have held for a year or more and you have not been on certain benefits during that time. The cap will also not apply for nine months to people getting Universal Credit whose earnings have been over a set amount during the previous year. Contact us for advice.

If you are of working age and you rent your home from a council or housing association, your local council may reduce the amount of Housing Benefit they will pay you if they decide that you have more bedrooms than you need. This is commonly known as the 'bedroom tax'. This does not affect some properties and people in certain situations. Contact us for advice.