Work and benefits

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Which benefits can I claim?

How to claim benefits?

Some people find making a claim to benefit daunting. Don’t be put off claiming what you are entitled to.

  • If you have used the Benefits calculator (above) the results page will tell you how to go about making a claim for the suggested benefits.
  • Alternatively, if you already know which benefit(s) you wish to claim you can use the Government A to Z web page to find out how to claim.

Changes to benefits

  • Visit our Changes to benefit page
  • The Local Welfare Provision is a benefit that you can apply for to get additional help for things like gas and electric bills however some local authorities have stopped these payments due to lack of funds. The Child Poverty Action Group have provided details on their website - Visit to use their A-Z search to see the position your local authority has taken.

Overpayments of benefits

Overpayments of benefit can occur for any number of reasons - ie: a change in circumstances (eg; Your partner leaves the household or starting employment).

An overpayment could mean you have less to live on or need to pay more towards your rent. It’s important that you tell the Benefit Department or Tax Office of any changes as soon as they happen.

What if you disagree with the overpayment?

Most overpayments of benefit (but not all) can be challenged.

  • If you disagree with either the amount, or that an overpayment has happened, you should contact the department concerned as soon as possible to dispute the overpayment.
  • Citizens Advice offers guidance on dealing with overpayments.

Moving into or out of work?

  • If you’re returning to work after a period of unemployment you may need to tell more than one government department of the change.
  • If you have been offered employment and have been receiving Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit because you were unemployed you should inform the Job Centre before you start work. Letting the Job Centre know as soon as you have a start date for work is a good way to avoid any unnecessary overpayment.
  • If you’re leaving work you may be entitled to claim benefits straight away. See the section on ‘How to claim benefit’ - above.
  • If you have been receiving Working Tax Credit and leave work, remember to let the Tax Office know as soon as possible.

Are you retiring?

  • Check out your state pension details on

Note: If you are a man over Pension Credit age you can still claim Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit but you maybe better off on Pension Credit. This will continue to be the case until the retirement age for men and women equalises in November 2018. * Visit the Turn2us website to check your benefit entitlement.

Understanding your financial circumstances

  • Have you been out of the workforce for some time?
  • Are you in work and been offered a change in your job or hours?
  • Do you need to stop work to care for someone?

Whatever the reason, it can be difficult to work out what effect these changes may have on your finances.

Using a 'better off' calculator can help you understand your circumstances ie: