If you need to apply for State Benefits you should allow at least six weeks for your application to be sorted out. You may be able to get an interim payment and there are emergency funds available - see below for details. Make sure that you are getting your full entitlement by speaking to an independent advisor and if you have any problems with your application being unduly delayed contact your Member of Parliament or Citizen's Advice Bureau.
Click on one of the links below to find out more information about State Benefits and Government Departments:
A to Z Listing of Government Benefits
All Benefits, for example help with fuel costs, business start up, free school meals. You can also download claim forms for some Benefits.
Department for Work and Pensions
Provides advice, information, services and news on State Services and Benefits.
Child Support Agency
The rules for Child Support have now changed with a maximum of 15% of net income for one child, 20% for two and 25% for three children payable. Use the online maintenance calculator and check for the latest developments. Includes advice and information for claimants.
Children's and Working Tax Credits
Includes information on help with child care costs and Tax Credits.
Citizen's Advice Bureau
The CAB offers free information and advice on all aspects of financial matters, including pensions and state benefits. Find your local office and check that you are receiving all of your entitlements.
Council Tax Benefit
Information on assistance with Council Tax payments.
Department for Work and Pensions - Local Office Search
Search for your local Job Centre, Child Support Agency Office or Pensions Service Office.
You may get help with your housing costs if you are living in rented accommodation and on low income or state benefits. Unfortunately you cannot claim it for help with your mortgage although you may get help through other benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support.
Available for people under 60 on a low income who do not have savings over the set limit and are not working or working less than 16 hours per week. For the over 60s see the Minimum Income Guarantee.
Information on self assessment, tax and National Insurance queries and Disabled Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. Iincludes online claim forms.
Job Seekers Allowance
JSA is for people who are of working age and are available and able to work. Includes information for 16 and 17 year olds who may not be entitled.
Discretionary Grants and Loans for costs that cannot be met out of ordinary income, including Funeral Payments, Crisis Loans, Maternity Payments and Community Care Grants for people leaving Residential or Institutional Care.
Working Families Tax Credit
For information, advice and an online claim form. N.B. You do not have to have children to apply for Working Tax Credit.