Problems with benefits?

Here are some things it will be useful to bring with you:

  • all letters from government departments, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) e.g. Jobcentre Plus, Pension Service, or the local authority
  • decision letters that you are not happy with or wish to challenge - this is essential
  • your national insurance number
  • proof of your income - wage slips, benefit letters, tax credits
  • bank statement - latest copy
  • details of any savings
  • tenancy agreement or mortgage details.

Welfare benefit check

If you need an adviser to check that you are receiving all the benefits & tax credits you're entitled to, bring the following information for everyone who lives in your home:

  • dates of birth
  • if employed or self-employed - number of hours worked
  • gross income from employment for the last tax year - April 6 to April 5 - a P60 form will provide this, or if self employed, last year’s accounts
  • gross income for this year - payslips or estimate if self-employed
  • if you are currently receiving benefits, bring all the benefit award letters
  • child care costs - details of childcare provider and how much you pay
  • investment income - details of investments and latest interest payments. Bank statements may be the best way to show this
  • tenancy agreement or current mortgage repayment details
  • council tax bill.

Find online advice about benefits on the national citizens advice website if one of the following applies to you:

• I’ve lost my job, what can I claim?

• What are tax credits and how can I get them?

• I’m too sick to work, what can I claim?

• I’m disabled, is there anything extra I can claim?

• I’m recently bereaved, is there any help available?

• I’m over 60, and struggling to make ends meet, is there anything I can claim?

• I’m a parent, what benefits can I claim?

• Can I get financial help if I go back to work?

• I have come to the UK from abroad, what benefits can I claim?

• How can I challenge a decision about my benefits?

• I have been sanctioned and my benefit has stopped and I now have no money. Is there anything I can claim?

There is more information about benefits on the national Citizens Advice website and the sites below may also be able to answer your question. – useful information provided about government services and your rights

DWP – government department responsible for benefits

Benefits Calculator

If you drop in to see us, we can help you work out what benefits you may be entitled to, but there are tools online that can help with this too:

If you're over 18 you can also use the Turn2us or Entitledto benefit calculators to check which benefits you can get. You'll need information about savings, income, pension, childcare payments and any existing benefits (for you and your partner).

The Turn2Us and Entitledto calculators won't work if you're under 18, and you won't get an accurate and detailed calculation if you're:

  • a student
  • not a British or Irish citizen
  • on strike
  • living outside the UK
  • living permanently in residential care or a nursing home
  • a prisoner

You’ll need information about savings, income, pension, childcare payments and any existing benefits (for you and your partner).

If you're not a British, Irish or EEA citizen

You can use the Support for migrant families tool if you want to find out what benefits and other help you can get and:

  • you're responsible for children under 18
  • your visa says "no recourse to public funds" or you're subject to immigration control

Your results will be more accurate if you know your immigration status.