Seven million struggling adults in the UK are missing out on crucial benefits such as pensions credit, child support and council tax discounts to help in times of hardship, new figures show.
More than £1.8billion is unclaimed in pensions credit, while an eye-watering £974million is unclaimed in income support, the report by anti-poverty charity Turn2Us found.
Its figures show 7.1million people across the country are not claiming vital support that could ease their financial troubles – at a collective loss of £15.1billion.
It found the most under-claimed benefit to be council tax reductions – which applies if you are disabled, living alone or are in receipt of pensions credit (see more on council tax discounts, here).
The second most unclaimed support is Universal Credit – with 1million people missing out on crucial financial help on top of the 6million that have joined the six-in-one benefit in the past year.
Turn2Us said 45% of people surveyed as part of the report have never checked what benefits they are eligible for despite many of them struggling financially.
Over 55s were the least likely to ask for help, despite pensioners being the most vulnerable in age and access to basic supplies, particularly during the pandemic. In total, six in 10 pensioners have never checked if they qualify for support.
In many cases, it found claimants have made drastic changes to their lives – which could have been avoided if they checked what they were entitled to.
Manchester born Rob is one of thousands of people who checked what they could be entitled to too late.
The dad suffered an accident several years ago which left him unable to work.
He sold his home to keep afloat – only to later discover he could have claimed that additional funding through emergency government support.
Bartender Ali told the charity a similar story. After losing his job during the pandemic, he started surviving on his savings.
It wasn’t until he’d spent it all that he discovered he qualified for Universal Credit.
But are you entitled to any extra support to help with your financial situation?
To find out, we’ve teamed up with charity Turn2Us to bring you the following benefits calculator.
Benefits calculator – find out if you can get extra help
Turn2Us found that on average, those eligible for support could get £5,320 a year to help with bills, rent, childcare and living expenses.
Simply fill in your details in the form below to find out what you can get help with.
For more information visit Turn2us or call its helpline: 0808 802 2000.
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