TrendRadars > News > Boost your income before new financial year by checking for unclaimed benefits
Boost your income before new financial year by checking for unclaimed benefits
Boost your income before new financial year by checking for unclaimed benefits,The new financial year begins on April 6 but there is still time to claim discounts and rebates for 2022-23.

Boost your income before new financial year by checking for unclaimed benefits

Millions of families across the country have cut household spending and reduced outgoings in an effort to offset the ongoing cost of living crisis which shows no sign of easing up despite extended financial support from the UK Government for 2023/24. The £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme is set to finish at the end of this month and the current £2,500 Energy Price Guarantee is due to rise to £3,000 from April 1, although a campaign led by Martin Lewis has urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt not to implement the £500 increase.

While most people have reviewed their outgoings and streamlined their finances as much as they comfortably can, it’s worthwhile checking to make sure you are claiming all the available financial support you are entitled to. This includes benefits, Council Tax Reductions and TV licence discounts.

Many people mistakenly believe there is a stigma attached to claiming benefits, but it’s worthwhile noting an estimated £15 billion state support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) went unclaimed during 2021-22. The Scottish Government recently launched a new website, offering a 'one stop shop' to help households and individuals quickly check for additional support.

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Universal Credit

The main one to check your eligibility for is Universal Credit which is designed to help households on a low income or out of work.

How to claim Universal Credit

The UK Government states that a person may be able to get Universal Credit if:

  • You are on a low-income or out of work

  • You are 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)

  • You are under State Pension age (or your partner is)

  • You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you

  • You live in the UK

If you live with your partner, their income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.

It is worth noting that you won't be able to get any of the means-tested benefits if your capital and savings amount to more than the upper limit of £16,000.

These include:

  • Universal Credit

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Housing Benefit

However, your savings and capital (or your partner’s savings, capital and income) are not taken into account when claiming ‘New Style’ Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and this particular benefit can be obtained at the same time as Universal Credit – or on its own.

‘New Style’ JSA is a contribution-based benefit. This means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the two full tax years before the year you’re claiming in.

It is paid fortnightly and if you qualify, you can get 'New Style' JSA for up to 182 days.

If you qualify for both ‘New Style’ JSA and Universal Credit, any ‘New Style’ JSA you receive will be taken into account as income for Universal Credit.

To make a claim for Universal Credit, visit the website here and for more information on claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, read more here.

Universal Credit payments (monthly rates shown)

Standard allowance (until April 2023)


  • Single under 25: £265.31

  • Single 25 or over: £334.91


  • Joint claimants both under 25: £416.45

  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £525.72

Man sitting at a table looking pensively at documents
Checking for unclaimed benefits, discounts or reductions could also result in backdated payments. (Image: Getty Images)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Who can claim: People over 16 and under State Pension age

How much it’s worth: Between £97.80 and £627.60 every four weeks

What is it: A benefit delivered by the DWP to people with a long-term illness, disability or physical or mental health condition – including an ever-growing range of hidden conditions and long-term Covid.

PIP is non-means tested, tax-free and available to those in and out of work, it can also be claimed on top of other benefits as it is not affected by the benefits cap – find out more here.

Adult Disability Payment (ADP)

This devolved benefit has now replaced new claims for PIP for people living in Scotland. The payment rates and eligibility rules are the same as for PIP, the main difference is the application process.

Find out more about claiming ADP here.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) / Child Disability Payment (Scotland only)

Who can claim: Children under 16

How much it’s worth: Between £97.80 and £627.60 every four weeks

What is it: DLA claimants in Scotland are now being transferred from DWP to the new devolved benefit, Child Disability Payment being delivered by Social Security Scotland.

Both benefits pay the same rates and have the same eligibility criteria for PIP.

Find out more about DLA here and Child Disability Payment here.

Young people in Scotland receiving PIP (between 16 and 18), DLA or the Child Disability Payment will also receive the Child Winter Heating Assistance annual payment of £214 to help towards energy bills – find out more about it here.

Scottish Child Payment

Who can clam: Eligible parents with children under 16.

How much it’s worth: £25 per week, per child.

What is it: Scottish Child Payment helps towards the costs of supporting your family if you are on a low income – find out more here.

Best Start Foods

Who can claim: If you or your partner are getting certain benefits or Tax Credits, or you or your partner are pregnant, or are the main person looking after a baby or child who's the right age for a payment.

How much it’s worth: The payment is worth £18 during pregnancy and for any children between one and three-years-old. It is £36 for children under the age of one.

What is it: A benefit paid by Social Security Scotland every four weeks on a pre-paid card to buy healthy food including eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables – find out more here.

Best Start Grants

Who can claim: Parents and carers on low incomes.

What is it and how much is it worth: It is made up of three separate payments – the Pregnancy and Baby Payment is – a one-off payment of £606 for a first child or £303 for a second or later child. The Early Learning Payment is a one-off payment of £252.50 if your child is between 2 and 3 1/2 years old.

You cannot get Best Start Grant or Best Start Foods if you only get Child Benefit – you must still be getting one of the benefits or payments from this list to be able to get Best Start Grant or Best Start Foods – find out more here.

Attendance Allowance

Who can claim: People over State Pension age.

How much it's worth: You will be paid either £61.85 or £92.40 every week.

What is it: A benefit delivered by the DWP that helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. It can also help you stay independent in your own home longer – find out more about claiming Attendance Allowance here.

Carer’s Allowance

Who can claim: People who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

How much it's worth: £278.80 every four weeks. In Scotland there are also two additional payments of £245.70 each year as part of the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. The next payment will be in June, to qualify you need to make a claim for Carer's Allowance on or before April 10, 2023.

What is it: A benefit for people who help someone with washing and cooking, taking them to appointments or helping with household tasks such as managing bills and shopping – find out more about Carer’s Allowance and the supplement here.

Pension Credit

Who can claim: People claiming State Pension.

How much it's worth: The figure is determined by a number of factors, including savings, but is potentially worth up to £3,500 per year.

What is it: A benefit delivered by the DWP for older people to help with the costs of retirement. It includes additional discounts including a free TV Licence for those over 75 (worth £159), Council Tax Reduction (worth £1,000 to £2,000 per year), Want Homes Discount (worth £140) and more – find out more about Pension Credit here.

New claims for Pension Credit made now may also qualify for the first part of the £900 means-tested cost of living payment, worth £301 – find out more here.

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Benefits Calculators

These are a quick and easy way to identify any benefits you may be entitled to claim.

They are independent and completely confidential, all you have to do is enter personal and financial details about your current circumstances – find out more about benefits calculators here.

Other ways to boost your income

Council Tax Reductions, Discounts and Exemptions

Council Tax is paid in 10 or 12 equal monthly instalments to your local council, however, there are a number of ways to reduce the cost of this annual bill.

These include:

  • If you live alone
  • If you are disabled
  • If you live with someone under 18 or a student
  • If you are a carer
  • If there are major changes to the value of your home

In most cases, reductions in your Council Tax bill could be backdated, so don’t delay making an enquiry – find out more details here.

TV Licence discount or refund

TV Licence rules changed last year which means everyone pays for it, including those on State Pension. The only way to avoid the £159 fee is to be aged over 75 and in receipt of Pension Credit.

People who are registered blind or severely sight impaired are entitled to a half price TV Licence and may be eligible for a refund. When someone with a severe sight impairment applies for a TV Licence they are required to submit evidence of their disability – a blind registration letter is the most common form – and from that TV Licensing may identify an overpayment, especially if you’ve been paying by direct debit, and issue a refund – find out more here.

Get the latest Record Money news

Join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for energy and money-saving tips, the latest benefits news, consumer help and advice on coping with the cost of living crisis.

Sign up to our Record Money newsletter and get the top stories sent to your inbox daily from Monday to Friday, including a special cost of living edition on a Thursday – sign up here.

You can also follow us on Twitter @Recordmoney_ for regular updates throughout the day.

Claim £252 tax break just for being married or in a civil partnership

HMRC recently announced that nearly 1.8 million married couples and those in civil partnerships are using Marriage Allowance to save up to £252 a year in Income Tax,

Marriage Allowance allows married couples or those in civil partnerships to share their personal tax allowances if one partner earns an income under their Personal Allowance threshold of £12,570 and the other is a starter, basic or intermediate rate taxpayer.

They can transfer 10 per cent of their tax-free allowance to their partner, which is £1,260 in 2022/24.

It means couples can reduce the tax they pay by up to £252 a year and they can backdate their claims for any of the four previous tax years, which could be worth up to a total of £1,220. – find out more. here.

To keep up to date with the latest benefits news, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook page here, follow us on Twitter @Record_Money, or subscribe to our newsletter which goes out Monday to Friday – sign up here.


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