Many constituents are not always aware of their entitlement to Income Support and other benefits.
There are a range of benefits available for individuals not in work, on low incomes and or with a health or disability need. Information about benefits which can be applied for, including their eligibility criteria are available at the Gov.uk website here.
The simplest way to check eligibility is via a benefits calculator which asks for details about your financial situation to determine whether you might be eligible. Once completed, the calculator will give you an indication of what you might be entitled to apply for.
The Gov.UK website also provides information and links to the three most commonly used Benefits Calculators. These are, Gov.UK, entitled to and Turn2Us. Simply select which benefits calculator you would like to use here.
If you are still unsure whether you might be eligible and you would like to speak with someone in person you can do so by contacting either one of the advisory bodies such as Citizens Advice or speak to the relevant Government Department, directly. If you wish to contact the relevant Government Department, directly please use the following information and contact numbers for some of the main benefits constituents frequently contact me about.
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to receive it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.
For more information about Universal Credit please visit:
Universal Credit applications can now be made online using the following link:
Apply for Universal Credit
- Alternatively, you can call DWP on 0800 328 5644
- Or for textphone users please use 0800 328 1344
- Relay UK is also available if you cannot hear of speak on the phone; dial 18001 then 0800 328 5644
- A video relay service is also available for British Sign Language users. Check if you can use this service by using the following link; Universal Credit: Contact Universal Credit – GOV.UK
Help to Claim
If you struggle with understanding complex information or need some help with completing forms the Citizen’s Advice provide a Help to Claim service for Universal Credit. For more information about the Help to Claim service please visit:
To speak with the Help to Claim service please call 0800 144 8 444. For Relay calls please dial 18001; then 0800 144 8 444.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
You can apply for ESA if you have a disability of health condition that affects how much you can work
You may also be able to get ESA if you were unable to work whilst self-isolating because of Coronavirus.
You can apply if you are employed, self-employed or unemployed.
You could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style ESA’ to check if you are eligible use one of the benefits calculators and make a claim by applying online for ESA using the following link;
If you cannot make an application online or you are an appointee for someone please call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 and select Option 3 or by Textphone by calling 0800 328 1344 also choosing option 3.
Relay UK and Video Relay are also available. For more information about these services please visit:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have both:
- A long term physical or mental health condition or disability
- Difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition
You can get PIP if you are working, have savings, or are in receipt of other benefits.
If you need help understanding or applying for PIP you can get help from the Citizen’s Advice. For more information about the support they provide please visit the following link:
To apply for PIP you need to call DWP to start your claim using the following telephone number,
- 0800 917 2222
- For textphone please use 0800 917 7777
- Relay UK is available by dialling 18001 then 0800 917 2222
- Video Relay is also available. Check if you can use this service by using the following link:
If you need someone to help you, you can ask for a person to be added to the call (not available via textphone) or you can ask someone to call on your behalf (you will need to be present during the call)
If you are applying for PIP a carer (or someone who looks after you) might be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. For more information about Carer’s Allowance please visit:
Tax Credits have now been replaced by Universal Credit. They were provided to those on low incomes for help with living and childcare costs. You can only make a claim for Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit if you already get Tax Credits.
If you cannot apply for Tax Credits you can apply for Universal Credit instead using the previous details provided for the Universal Credit Helpline.
You cannot claim Tax Credits and Universal Credit at the same time. Your Tax Credits will stop if you or your partner apply for Universal Credit. To check how Universal Credits and Tax Credits affect each other please visit:
How tax credits and other benefits affect each other
For those in receipt of Tax Credits you can now manage your tax credit claim online using the following link:
Manage your tax credits