I’m a Universal Credit expert and here are five ways to get £100 help NOW – how to claim

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As millions are forced to tighten their belts due to a cost of living crisis, low-income households should check for extra help.

If you apply for Universal Credit, you are usually eligible for additional assistance, including bill discounts, cheaper travel, and free food.

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Benefits expert Jonathan Chesterman outlines all the support you can get on Universal Credit

But thousands of people might not realize they are entitled to this support – which can be worth hundreds of pounds.

This will come in handy as household bills ranging from energy to food and fuel are skyrocketing, leaving many people struggling to get by.

Energy bills are expected to hit over £3,000 in October and half of households are already cutting back on food spending as prices soar.

That’s why it’s important to know what you can get, said Stepchange debt expert Jonathan Chesterman.

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He has nearly 30 years of experience helping households with their money issues and is on the expert panel of The Sun’s Squeeze team.

We’re on board to help you weather the worst cost of living crisis in decades.

If you’re wondering how to make ends meet, struggling to pay off debt, or unsure how best to manage your money, contact us by emailing [email protected]

Here’s Jonathan’s list of the four support programs you can apply for right now if you’re on Universal Credit.

Help registering the schema

Households in difficulty can use government programs set up to help low-income people increase their savings.

The Help To Save scheme sees the government give you 50p for every £1 you put aside.

You can save a maximum of £2,400 a year – or £50 a month – and if you max out the allowance you’ll earn an additional £1,200 in FREE cash.

“If you’re claiming a working tax credit or universal credit, you might be eligible to open a savings assistance account,” Jonathan said.

“And because it’s a government ploy, all your money is safe.”

Healthy Start Program

Families struggling to put food on the table can apply for Healthy Start vouchers.

You can get help if you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four – and claim some benefits, including Universal Credit.

“The Healthy Start program provides vouchers for milk (and instant formula), fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, and vitamins for low-income families,” Jonathan said.

“If you are eligible you will receive a Healthy Start card with cash which you can use in selected UK stores.”

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) told The Sun that up to 153,371 families are not claiming these vouchers even though they are eligible.

The program came under fire earlier this year when shoppers’ vouchers were declined at checkout, leaving them unable to pay for groceries.

You can apply for Healthy Start vouchers via the NHS online application form on their website.

Energy bill help

Energy bills are skyrocketing, leaving households struggling to pay – especially those on low incomes.

Costs are expected to reach nearly £3,000 by the end of the year, with at least six million households indebted to their supplier.

But there are ways for those on Universal Credit to get extra help paying for the exorbitant price hikes.

“A lot of people are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills at the moment – but if you’re on a low income or on benefits, energy providers, local authorities and charities have grants that you can apply for,” Jonathan said.

For example, Jonathan said the Household Support Fund is available for people in difficulty.

Eligibility criteria vary across the country, but many local authorities will offer assistance to people on Universal Credit.

Suppliers are also giving subsidies to the hardest hit.

For example, British Gas distributes up to £750 through its hardship fund – and you don’t even have to be a customer.

If you are on Universal Credit and have a low income, you may qualify.

School Uniform Grants

Parents might worry about how to pay for the school uniform for the new term after the summer vacation ends.

But you could get help cutting costs, Jonathan said.

“Some local councils offer grants to low-income people to help pay for school uniforms and physical education kits – but the amount given varies and eligibility criteria vary by council.”

The Sun found the councils were offering up to £200 to struggling families.

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For example, in Essex you will only get £62 – but in Wales you can get £200.

Apply for a grant from your local council – use the government search tool to see which is yours.


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