On a low income and not working benefits and support

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age who are out of work or are working and on a low income. It is assessed and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions(DWP).

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance is a regular payment you may be able to get if you are looking for work and have no job or work less than 16 hours a week. Remember, most people who need help while they look for work must now claim Universal Credit


Income Support

Income Support can help you cover your costs if:

  • have little or no income
  • are between 16 and Pension Credit age
  • do not sign on as looking for work because, for example, you are bringing up any young children (under five years old, but there are exceptions) alone or care for a disabled person.


Tax credits

You can no longer make a new claim for Tax Credits- instead you will be signposted to Universal Credit

The information below is for those people who have an existing Tax Credit claim.

If your income is not above a certain amount and you are:

  • bringing up children, you may be able to get Child Tax Credit
  • working, you may be able to get Working Tax Credit 
  • bringing up children and working, you may be able to get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.


Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help to pay all or part of your rent. You may get this benefit if you are on a low income, whether you are working or not. Remember, most people who need help to pay their rent must now claim Universal Credit

You can only claim Housing Benefit if:

  • You and your partner, if you have one, have reached State Pension age
  • You receive Pension Credit
  • You have been getting an addition called Severe Disability Premium to your benefit for disability needs
  • You are living in what is referred to an 'temporary accommodation or 'specified accommodation'

There are a few other situations in which you can claim Housing Benefit but the rules are complicated. If you need further advice please contact our Welfare Benefits Team

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is a scheme that replaced Council Tax Benefit on 1 April 2013. It is intended to support Council Tax payers pay their Council Tax. It is means-tested

Budgeting Loans

Budgeting loans are interest free loans from the DWP to help pay essential things like, rent furniture or clothes.

Funeral Payment

You may be able to get a Funeral Payment if you are arranging a funeral and are on a low income.

Cold Weather Payment

You may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting certain income-related benefits (such as Income Support) and it is exceptionally cold in Redbridge for some time:

You do not need to claim Cold Weather Payment. You should get it automatically if you qualify.

NHS Low Income Scheme

The NHS Low Income Scheme offers help with certain health costs including prescriptions, eye care, dental care and travel.

Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card

This is provided to those unemployed claiming Universal Credit for 3-9 months (18-24 year olds) or 3-12 months (over 25s). Other benefit recipients may receive a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card from 3 months of their claim and if they are actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser. Cardholders are entitled to a 50% discount on selected rail tickets.

 Contact your local Jobcentre Plus for more information

Note that feedback relates only to this page and it's content. You can also feedback about the entire site.

For complaints or compliments, please go to Complaints or Compliments

Rate this page:

Thanks for your feedback