Almost a million Brits could be missing out on thousands of pounds-worth of Universal Credit payments, it has been revealed.
Billions of pounds have been left unclaimed, according to the charity Turn2Us.
On average this amounts to £2,900 each and some people may not be aware they are eligible to apply for Universal Credit despite working.
The charity estimates that around £15billion was unclaimed, including benefits towards council tax and child benefits, reports the Sun.
A common reason for missing out is that those in work but on a low income don’t think they will get anything but many Universal Credit claimants are in work.
Universal Credit can top-up a low income for those in work and is not just for those out of work.
Money guru Martin Lewis urged Brits to check again if they could get Universal Credit if their circumstances have changed.
The complexity of the system for claiming can also put people off, according to Turn2Us and so too can shame around claiming benefits.
The Labour party this week pledged an overhaul of the benefit system including a new name to end stigma around Universal Credit.
A government spokesperson said that it has already supported 3million new Universal Credit claims and raises awareness through campaigns, adverts and social media.
They said: “We encourage anyone who thinks they might be entitled to Universal Credit to check and claim what they’re entitled to. There are a number of benefits calculators available on gov.uk.”
You are generally eligible for Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or are out of work.
You need to be over 18, although there are exceptions for some 16 and 17-year-olds, and under State Pension age (currently 65).
You can’t claim if you have more £16,000 or more in savings – but if you can claim as soon as your savings go under this amount if you’re living off the money.
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