Running a household: Do you know what benefits you’re entitled to?

The cost of living is constantly on the rise and many people are now discovering that to make ends meet they may have to seek help. If you are finding it hard to repay debts or make bill payments in full and on time, have you looked into the benefits that you are entitled to? These supporting methods of income may be able to take the edge off those monthly costs and allow you some peace of mind when it comes to ensuring your responsibilities are met.

To find out about your individual benefit entitlement, there are a number of places you can go to for advice including; the Money Advice Service, Citizens Advice, Law Centres, Age UK, Gingerbread and Macmillan depending on your situation.

If you’re running a household, you need to look into the heating and housing benefits that are there to help you with the costs of running your home. If you’re not sure of your eligibility, here are a few examples that you might find yourself relating to and how to tackle them:

Example 1 – Cold Weather Payment:

You already receive Pension Credit and Income Support, you’re unemployed but actively looking for another job which means you receive the income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance too. You’re struggling to get a job and you’re worried about the winter months because you’re not sure if you can afford the heating bills.

If this sounds like you, then you should get in touch with your pension centre and find out why you’re not getting a cold weather payment as it’s something that should be issued to you automatically if you are receiving Income Support and Pension Credit.

Example 2 – Help with bills:

You’re getting reminders on bills through the post, but you’re struggling to manage your money in a way that leaves you with enough each month to repay them. It’s something many people struggle with at some point and it’s not that you don’t want to pay the bills, you just don’t have the capital to sort them out right now.

If this sounds like you, get in touch with your Jobcentre Plus, or the Pension centre if you’re on Pension Credit, with the details of your bills and your National Insurance number. The centre will arrange for some of your benefit allowance each month to go directly to the company or person you owe, so that they stop hassling you and you continue to make repayments on time.

Example 3 – Housing benefit

You have a job, but the income isn’t enough to look after your little ones at home, plus pay all of the bills. You are worried you are going to start falling behind on these priority bill payments and could find yourself in bigger financial trouble later down the line.

If this sounds like you, then you may be eligible for a housing benefit, all you need to do is complete a benefits calculator before you apply, to see how much you’re entitled to – which is dependent on your circumstances.

Discover what you are entitled to and make those everyday bill payments and expenses easier to manage with the help that is available.