5 Ways to get Help after your Universal Credit is Cut

5 Ways to get Help after your Universal Credit is Cut

The Universal Credit bonus will be ending soon, which means claimants will have to find other ways to boost their income in order to survive the pandemic.

The £80 monthly increase has been a definite help especially during these difficult times. Losing Universal Credit doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world.

Here’s 5 ways to get help if you’re worried about the Universal Credit payment cut…

Get Food Vouchers…

Individuals on low income may find themselves under a financial crisis as the UK government reintroduces the minimum income.

While food is an absolute essential that should be at the top of your budget list, you can manage a bit of a wiggle room by supplementing with food bank vouchers.

To start, you will need to get a referral from frontline professionals such as social workers and doctors, or from charitable organizations, like Citizens Advice.

If successful, you should be able to get a discount and emergency food that should last you a while.

Apply for School Meals…

Hard-up families, especially those with children will feel the effects of the void left by Universal Credit once the £80 bonus leaves in October.

It’s estimated that millions of UK households will lose the benefit when the furlough ends.

Those in Scotland and England and with children attending state schools in year 1 or year 2 and reception could be entitled to get free school meals.

You can claim this benefit if you’re earning £7,400 annually after tax and before benefits. The income is £14,000 for those living in Northern Ireland.

One of the requirements to get free school meals is that you have to have any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit
  • Part VI 1999 Immigration and asylum act support
  • Employment and support allowance
  • Jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income support

It’s also possible that you can apply online to get free school meals, and the process may be different depending on your region. You can check your eligibility online at the UK government website Gov.uk

Essential Costs Support…

Local councils are lending support to UK residents in the form of the COVID Local Support Grant, among others.

Families across York and Wokingham have received money to spend on bills, food and for repairing boilers and roofs.

Currently, you can get help with essential costs by checking with your local council through the government website. Scan for and get the necessary details, then try and see if you could apply for them online. Support can depend on severity of need and where you live, but you can get help in essential matters such as keeping the lights on and food.

Check for Available Benefits…

There’s a good chance that you could be missing out on benefits you’re entitled to. Finding this out is easy- you just need time and several resources to get started.

Local Citizens Advice can be a great starting point to seeing if you’re entitled to something. There are useful tools on the internet, such as the free benefits calculators so you can see what you can claim.

Other than that, a trustworthy resource is the UK government official website, Gov.uk which can point you in the right direction.

As Universal Credit is ending soon you’ll want to touch on other forms of help to get you through life’s difficulties. However, you should know that there are requirements to submitting a claim. As soon as you have the time you should gather the necessary documents, such as savings or bank statements and details regarding your existing benefits and pensions.

Debt Support…

Lastly, you can get help with your existing debt and money management techniques that can bring the balance down.

There are organisations that offer free help online, over the phone or in person, such as the National Debtline, StepChange, Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service.

These entities will also be able to provide guidance for when you need to do an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or a debt management plan.

Prioritize council tax, mortgage and rent as they could lead to severe consequences if left unpaid. Plan around your income and focus only on the essentials, such as food and shelter until you’re back on your feet financially.