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If you are working but on a low income, you may qualify for certain benefits.

Some of the help available is listed below, any figures shown are 2021/22 rates:

Benefits of Working Age Adults
Benefit What is it? Who qualifies?

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs if you are on a low income or out of work. It’s paid monthly, or twice a month for some people in Scotland.

You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

  • you’re on a low income or out of work'
  • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)'
  • you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)'
  • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you' and
  • you live in the UK.

 Jobseekers Allowance

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you when you look for work.  Jobseekers Allowance has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only apply for contribution-based and income-based JSA if you either:

  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it, or
  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it, 

You may be able to apply for ‘new style’ JSA.

Statutory Sick Pay

You can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work.  It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. You need to qualify for SSP and have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days).

To qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline - or within 7 days if they do not have one

Employment Support Allowance

You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. You may be able to do some Permitted Work if you receive this benefit.

You can only apply for Employment Support Allowance if you either:

  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it, or
  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it.

You may be able to apply for ‘new style’ ESA.

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term ill-health or disability. This can be claimed even if you are in work.

You must be aged 16 or over and have not reached State Pension age to claim. You must also have a health condition or disability where you:

  • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
  • expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than 6 months to live)

Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if one of the following is true:

  • you’re getting the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it,
  • you got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it,
  • you have reached State Pension age,
  • you live in temporary accommodation, or
  • you live in sheltered or supported housing with special facilities such as alarms or wardens.

If not, you’ll need to claim Universal Credit instead.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction can help you pay your council tax if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits.

You could be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working. If you live in West Dunbartonshire you can claim online.

Council Tax Discounts & Exemptions

You may qualify for a discount or exemption dependent on your circumstances.

Discount or Exemption may apply in the following circumstances:

  • You are treated as being the sole adult in the household;
  • All occupants are classed as 'disregarded persons', i.e. severely mentally impaired; 
  • Your home has been adapted for a disabled person;
  • Your property is empty.

Carers Allowance

You could be eligible for extra money if you care for someone on a regular basis.  

You must care for someone at least 35 hours a week, earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, national insurance and expenses and the person you care for get certain benefits.  It can't be paid at the same time as some taxable benefits but can increase entitlement to other benefits.  It can also affect the benefits of the person you look after.  Seek advice before claiming.

Help with NHS Health Costs

You may qualify for help if you receive certain benefits or are on a low income. 

You can pick up the HC1 form for the Low Income Scheme, available from community pharmacies, GP practices, Citizens Advice Bureau and Jobcentre Plus offices.

 

There are a number of independent benefits calculators to find out:

  • what benefits you could get
  • how to claim
  • how your benefits will be affected if you start work

Or contact us for advice and support by filling out our online contact form.