What to claim if you are out of work or on a low income 

What to claim if you are out of work or on a low income 

Universal Credit 

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. See more details under the section on What to claim if you are out of work, cannot work or on a low income. 
 

Pension Credit 

Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. Pension Credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges. 
 
You might get extra help if you’re a carer, severely disabled, or responsible for a child or young person. 
 
Pension Credit is separate from your State Pension. 
 
You can get Pension Credit even if you have other income, savings or own your own home. 
 
You must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached State Pension age to qualify for Pension Credit. 
 
If you have a partner: 
 
You must include your partner on your application. 
You’ll be eligible if either: 
 
you and your partner have both reached State Pension age 
one of you is getting Housing Benefit for people over State Pension age 
 
A partner is either: 
your husband, wife or civil partner - if you live with them 
someone you live with as a couple, without being married or in a civil partnership 
Your income 
 
When you apply for Pension Credit your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your income is calculated together. 
Pension Credit tops up: 
 
your weekly income to £177.10 if you’re single 
your joint weekly income to £270.30 if you have a partner 
 
If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs. 

Housing benefit - Leicester 

You might be able to claim housing benefit to help you pay towards your rent if you are on a low income, regardless of being employed or unemployed. 
What can you claim in Leicester? 
 
The amount that you can claim depends on a number of things: 
 
the amount of rent you pay 
if you rent privately or from a council or housing association 
your household income and savings. 
 
The amount you may receive will also be limited depending on whether you live in a property which is appropriate for your needs, and you are not under-occupying. 
If you live in private sector housing, the amount that you can claim depends on the average rents in your area. 
 
Who can claim housing benefit? 
 
You can apply for housing benefit if: 
 
you pay rent. 
you’re on a low income or claim other benefits 
you have less than £16,000 in savings, property or shares. 
 
You can claim if you live with a partner – but only one of you can claim. 

Council tax support – Leicester 

Every working-age household has to pay towards their council tax. Council tax support will help to pay up to 80 per cent of your council tax bill if you are on a low income and have savings less than £6000. Pension-age council tax support can help towards 100 per cent of your council tax bill if you are on a low income and have savings less than £16000. You must apply for support. 
 
What does the scheme take account of? 
 
Your needs 
Your capital 
Your household income 
Band of your property 
Upper limit - The maximum council tax support is 80 per cent of the charge for your council tax band. 
Minimum amount - If your reduction, when calculated, is less than £3.75 per week, no reduction will be awarded. 
 
The full rules governing our scheme are available at the bottom of this page. In summary: 
 
You now have to contribute at least 20 per cent towards your council tax bill – about £268 a year for a band A property – no matter what benefits you receive. 
Council tax support has been capped to a band B value – currently £1,565.23. This means that if you live in a property that is above band B the most you will receive is £1,252.18. 
You will have to pay the full council tax bill if you have more than £6,000 or £16,000 if you are of pensionable age in savings or investments (some savings/investments are exempt). 
We will only pay towards the council tax bill when you are awarded more than £3.75 per week through the scheme. 
We have removed the second adult rebate, where some people used to get a reduction on their council tax bill if another adult, who wasn’t their partner, lived with them. 

Discretionary payments 

We run Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) and Council Tax Discretionary Relief (CTDR) schemes for city residents who need help with their housing costs or council tax. 
 
What are Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)? 
 
DHPs can help if you need assistance with your housing costs. They are paid by us in addition to any housing benefit you may be entitled to - up to the maximum of your rent liability. You must get at least 50p in housing benefit to apply for a DHP. If you are entitled to the housing element of universal credit for your rent, you can also apply for a DHP. 
 
What is Council Tax Discretionary Relief (CTDR)? 
 
CTDR can help if you cannot afford to pay all of your council tax bill. CTDR is normally paid in addition to our local council tax support scheme (council tax support). 
Council tax support is a means-tested local reduction. If you are struggling to pay any shortfall in your council tax support - please apply for CTDR. CTDR can also be considered in rare situations if you do not receive council tax support. 
 
What support can I get? 
 
DHP/CTDR awards are usually only paid for a short period, to give you time to get over a temporary lack of income, while you look for: 
 
different accommodation 
find a lodger to share your bills or; 
get financial advice to help with your debts or budgeting. 
 
Am I eligible? 
To be eligible for DHP, you must need extra financial help, and be entitled to either housing benefit or Universal Credit with a housing costs element. To be eligible for CTDR, you must be named on the council tax bill at your address and be in severe financial hardship. 
 
You might need a DHP or CTDR because: 
 
your benefits have been capped; 
you are having to pay more in housing costs as you are now considered to have a spare bedroom; 
you are at risk of becoming homeless and we are looking at alternative housing for you; 
you are struggling to pay the 20 per cent minimum council tax payment due to your current financial circumstances. 

 Need advice? Call the Money and Energy Hub on 0116 254 5168  

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