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Welfare and Benefits

Depending on your situation, it is possible that you may entitled to one or more welfare benefits, paid by the government or Birmingham City Council.

For a full benefit check, please try one of the following independent benefit calculators: (opens in new window) (opens in new window) (opens in new window)

You can also visit the website for more detailed information on welfare benefits (opens in new window).


Help completing benefit forms

If you need extra help or support, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Visiting Team can visit you at home (or somewhere else, such as in hospital) to help you with your benefit claim.

Your local Citizens Advice can provide expert advice on benefits. Some may be able to assist with form-filling. Contact your local office.

The Citizens Advice website has online guidance to help you fill in forms for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)Attendance Allowance and Employment Support Allowance

Additionally, if you receive a care service from Birmingham City Council, a full benefit check will be completed as part of the financial assessment process.


Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit to support you if you are working and are on a low income or you are out of work. It is a single monthly payment and replaces some of the benefits and tax credits you might be getting, including -

  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance.

By combining your benefits into one simple payment, it makes it easier for you to manage your money and helps ensure you receive the right amount of financial aid. It also makes it easier to adjust your payments when your circumstances change.

Apply for Universal Credit (Opens in a new window)

Alternatively, you can contact them by telephone on 08003 285 644


Housing and Housing Benefits

Click on the options below to find out about different housing benefits

You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income. Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

You can apply for Housing Benefit whether you are unemployed or working.

You can find out more about Housing Benefit here (opens in new window)

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting certain benefits. You will get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for 7 consecutive days.

You can find out more about Cold Weather Payments here (opens in a new window)

If you were born on or before 5 November 1953 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment'.

You can find out more about Winter Fuel Payments here (opens in a new window)


Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independent Payment (PIP) is a benefit you may be entitled to if you are aged 16 to 64 and have a disability or long term health condition, which means you have difficulties with daily living or getting around. It has replaced Disability Living Allowance.

The amount you get will depend on how your illness or disability affects your day to day living and not the actual condition itself. You can find out more about eligibility and how to claim by visiting the GOV.UK website using the link provided.

Apply for Personal Independent Payment (opens in a new window)


Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit you may be entitled to, if you are 65 or over and have a physical or mental disability and need someone to help look after you. You do not have to have someone caring for you to claim.

Like with Personal Independent Payment, the amount you get will depend on how your disability affects you on a day to day basis.

If you receive Attendance Allowance, your other benefits may increase to recognise that fact that you need extra support due to your support needs.

The Attendance Allowance does not take into account any mobility needs you may have.

Apply for Attendance Allowance (opens in a new window)


Blind Person’s Allowance

If you are registered blind and are working you will be able to claim for Blind Person's Allowance. This is an extra amount of income that blind people can earn without having to pay tax on it.

Blind Person’s allowance is the same for everyone who is entitled to it, regardless of age or income.

More on Blind Person Allowance (opens in a new window)

Alternatively, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by telephone on 03002 003 301


Immediate Financial Help

If you need immediate financial help, you may be entitled to emergency support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

This is an application to have an advance on your benefits, this may be when you have made a new claim and encounter a period of financial need. A short term advance will then be claimed back from your future benefits.

To make a claim you can call 0845 608 8545

Access GOV.UK for more information (Opens in a new window)

You could get a budgeting loan to help pay for essential things such as:

  • rent
  • furniture
  • clothes
  • hire purchase debts.

These are one off payments and the smallest amount you can borrow is £100.

Budgeting loans are interest free so you only pay back what you borrow. You normally have to repay the loan within 104 weeks.

More information and how to apply (Opens in a new window)

If you do not have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment you can ask for an advance payment after you have made a claim. 

More information on Advanced Payments (Opens in a new window)

You can also ask for a hardship payment if you cannot pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs because you got a sanction. To apply for a hardship payment ask your work coach or use your online journal. 

You need to pay it back any  payment through your Universal Credit payments - they will be lower until you have paid back the advance or hardship.


Last updated: 10/15/2020

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