What are means-tested benefits? | The Sun

MORE than eight million households in the UK receive means-tested benefits.

But what exactly are they and who is eligible to get them?

What are means-tested benefits?

Some government benefits are means-tested.

Means-tested benefits are awarded based on a person's financial situation.

They are only available to those who can prove that their income is under a certain amount.

How much you are entitled to can vary from person to person.

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The amount you receive depends on how big the difference is between your earnings and how much you require to live on.

Which benefits are means-tested?

The means-tested benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Social Fund (Sure Start Maternity Grant, Funeral Payment, Cold Weather Payment)

To be eligible to receive any of these benefits, you must be able to demonstrate that your total capital is less than a certain amount.

If you apply to receive any of these benefits, your income, savings, and any other capital will be checked to see if you are able to qualify.

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There are several benefit calculators you can use to see if you are eligible to receive them and how much you are entitled to.

Charity Turn2us has a free benefit calculator which lets you know whether you are entitled to means-tested benefits and whether you qualify for Carer's Allowance.

Entitledto's free calculator is another good tool to keep in mind as it works out whether you qualify for various benefits, tax credits, and Universal Credit.

Entitledto's data also powers benefit checkers from MoneySavingExpert.com and charity StepChange.

However, it's worth noting that you cannot use these calculators if you are under 18 and they will not give you accurate results if you are a prisoner, a student, living outside the UK, a non-British or Irish citizen, or living permanently in care.

The only benefits which are not means-tested are those awarded to people who cannot work because of a sickness or a disability.

Are means-tested benefits going up?

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his Autumn Statement that the government will be providing further support for households to help combat the effects of the cost of living crisis.

He announced that benefits and pensions are set to rise in line with inflation and both payments will increase by 10.1%.

He said: "Today I also commit to uprate such benefits by inflation with an increase of 10.1%, that is an expensive commitment costing £11 billion.

"But it means 10 million working-age families will see a much-needed increase next year."

This means that eight million households in the UK who receive means-tested benefits, will receive an additional cost of living payment of £900 in 2023-2024.

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This payment will be made over more than one instalment.

The Government website states: "This payment will be tax-free, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards."

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