On a low income/looking for work
The main benefit available for people on a low income, is Universal Credit. There are other benefits depending on your circumstances.
Changes to benefits: Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a new single monthly payment which merges six benefits (legacy benefits) including:
- Income support
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing benefit
- Child tax credits
- Working tax credits.
If you’re not already entitled to them, you can no longer claim most of these benefits. But some people can still claim housing benefit and everyone liable for council Tax can apply for a council tax reduction.
Once you have claimed Universal Credit you will not be able to go back to the legacy benefits so it is recommended that you seek professional benefits advice to ensure you are aware of your options.
Housing Benefit can help to pay all or part of your rent. You may get this benefit if you are on a low income, whether you are working or not.
You can only claim Housing Benefit if:
- You and your partner, if you have one, have reached State Pension age
- You receive Pension Credit
- You have been getting an addition to your benefit for disability needs
- You are living in what is referred to a 'temporary accommodation or 'specified accommodation'.
There are a few other situations in which you can claim Housing Benefit but the rules are complicated.
Use our eligibility checker to find out if you can claim Housing Benefit
Read the Direction of the Chief Executive (PDF) for further information about making a claim electronically.
Council Tax Reduction
Council Tax Reduction scheme replaced Council Tax Benefit on 1 April 2013.
Find out more about Council Tax Reduction and whether you may be eligible to claim.
Budgeting Loans and Budgeting Advance
Budgeting loans (if you are receiving a legacy benefit) are interest free loans from the DWP to help pay essential things like rent; furniture or clothes.
Find out if you might qualify for a budgeting loan, and how much you could get on the gov.uk website.
A Budgeting Advance can be claimed if you receive Universal Credit, find out more on the gov.uk website.
If you are arranging a funeral and you are on a low income, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment.
Find out about Funeral Payments on the gov.uk website.
Cold Weather Payment
A Cold Weather Payment might be available to you if you are on certain income-related benefits (such as Income Support) and it is exceptionally cold in Newham for some time.
You do not need to claim Cold Weather Payment. You should get it automatically if you qualify.
Find out more about Cold Weather Payments on the gov.uk website
NHS Low Income Scheme
The NHS Low Income Scheme offers help with certain health costs including prescriptions; eye care, dental care and travel.
You can find out more on the NHS website.
Jobseeker’s Allowance is a regular payment you may be able to get if you are looking for work and have no job or work less than 16 hours a week.
Find out more about Jobseeker’s Allowance on the gov.uk website