MARTIN Lewis has urged anyone struck by the Universal Credit payment cut to do a 10 minute benefits check to see if they’re owed extra cash.
In the latest instalment of the weekly MoneySavingExpert email, the savings guru explained that now was the time to act.
The £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit that was introduced in April 2020 ends today.
It means millions will miss out on £1,000 a year and has already dealt a devastating decision between heating and eating for many.
Especially as other costly household outgoings have been rocketing in recent weeks, like with the £139 hike in energy bills for example.
Furlough came to an end last week too, so many households are feeling the pinch and may be struggling.
The latest data from charity StepChange reveals that only 28% of those on Universal Credit will now have enough to make ends meet as a result of the cut.
But Martin explains how you could get help with extra money if you’re eligible.
He said: "Coupled with the end of Covid support schemes, high inflation and the energy crisis, a tough winter looms for many on low incomes.
“If you're worried, do a 10-min benefits check-up to see if you're entitled to owt else."
Martin’s MoneySavingExpert site has a calculator that can do just that, and anyone can use it to check their eligibility and entitlement.
You can also use similar calculators from Turn2Us and StepChange.
You’ll need to grab any info you've got on savings, income, pensions, and existing benefits to see what you could be entitled to based on those earnings.
But the benefits calculator will work out what you could be due on top of that in low income support.
It will also reveal some relevant non means-based benefits that could claim too that may depend on circumstances like your health.
If you weren't already aware that you could be claiming the benefits it means you could see extra cash flow of hundreds of pounds.
You might find you're entitled to any number of benefits that are offered.
For example, you could be eligible to claim child tax credits or something as simple as the State pension.
There's support for those in work or looking for work too in the means of job seeker's allowance or working tax credits.
Plus for those on a low income you can get help with things like cold weather payments, free school meals or uniform, or budgeting loans and advances, plus many more that MoneySavingExpert reveals.
When you're taking the 10 minute test though, you have to make sure the info you put in is correct otherwise you won't get an accurate result of what you could be claiming.
MoneySavingExpert advises that once you've completed the check you should then follow through to government providers who can help you get set up on the benefits you're eligible to claim.
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