Universal Credit: Millions of Britons could be eligible for extra freebies and money off

Rishi Sunak baffles MP with claims Universal Credit is 'generous'

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They could be able to claim a range of other freebies, benefits and discounts to help lighten the load. People receiving Universal Credit could be missing out on hundreds of pounds through freebies, reductions, discounts and more.

Claiming their entitlement could help some families back away from the brink of poverty during the cost of living crisis. 

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show at January 13, 2022, 5.6 million people were on Universal Credit.

Council tax reduction

Households on low income could be eligible for a council tax discount or reduction. 

People can contact their local council to find out if they are eligible and how they can apply. 

Additionally, the council tax rebate scheme announced in February is due to be rolled out this month, with direct debit billpayers expected to receive the payment automatically. 

The rebate will not need to be repaid. Not exclusive to people on Universal Credit, it is available for households in council tax bands A to D.

However, households in other council tax bands could also apply for assistance through the discretionary fund given to individual councils. 

Energy bill assistance

As the energy price cap increases by almost £700, many are struggling to cover the cost of their lights and heating. 

But some suppliers do offer assistance through hardship funds or grants to help struggling customers. 

People can contact their supplier to see what they offer and if they could be eligible for assistance. 

Free school meals

People claiming Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Child Tax Credit could be entitled to free school meals for their children. 

These schemes are generally run by local authorities, but it has been noted some councils may ask Britons to contact their school directly. 

The meals provide a range from £2.15 to £2.50 per school day for meals. 

Some councils also provide additional support to parents during school holidays. 

Sure Start Maternity Grant

Claimants could receive a one-off £500 payment to help towards the costs of having a child though the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

This payment does not need to be paid back and people are usually eligible if they are already claiming benefits and are expecting their first child. 

People who already have children could also qualify if they are expecting multiples, such as twins. 

Parents have a window to apply for the grant, from 11 weeks until the due date to six months after the baby is born. 

Restart Scheme

This scheme is designed to help Universal Credit recipients when looking for work and can cover the costs of travel, childcare and other expenses involved in their job hunt. 

The scheme was announced as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs and is expected to provide up to 12 months of support.

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