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Money issues for people on low incomes

There a variety of benefits available for people with low incomes.

  • In most cases how much you earn and your hours of work will impact on the your eligibility/the amount you’ll receive. Many benefits can only be claimed if you work for less than 16 hours a week.
  • Housing benefit is only available for rented accommodation and will be reduced if your house is deemed to have a spare bedroom.
  • Income support can be claimed whilst you’re in work if you have a low income and are a carer, disabled or single parent with a young child.
  • As long as you are actively searching for a full-time job, you can receive JSA on top of income from a part time role.
  • ESA can also be claimed whilst you’re earning, but you still need to attend regular interviews and have your capacity to work assessed.
  • The Social Fund can offer a variety of one of payments to help those on low incomes meet certain expenses, including funerals and maternity preparations.
  • All benefits are subject to the new benefits cap.

Times are undoubtedly tough, even for those of us lucky enough to have an income. With wages remaining static whilst inflation continues to push up the cost of living, those on low pay can easily find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

Housing Benefit

Housing benefit is only available to those who live in rented property, be that from a private landlord, a housing association or a council. If you have a mortgage, you’ll need to look to other sources for help. Shopping cheaply online can hugely cut down on outgoings.

The benefit can only be spent on rent payments, and not any other living expense. A number of factors go into determining how much you’ll get. One of the most important is you ‘eligible rent’. This means the amount deemed reasonable for housing in your area that would prove suitable for you and your family. As you can imagine, this will vary a lot depending on your circumstances.

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