Benefits calculators can help to ensure you don’t miss out on financial aid. Because, performing a simple benefits check highlights exactly what kind of welfare support you can claim.
So, once you know how benefits calculators work, you can use them to work out what assistance and social security you’re entitled to.
The help you can get is not only available for people out of work – far from it! Even so, active job seekers can get access to a range of unemployment benefits while they search for work.
How to Use a Benefits Calculator
So, how does a benefits estimator work? Well, they are free to use (providing you have access to the Internet) and you can use them anonymously.
The primary purpose and usefulness of an independent benefit calculator is being able to:
- Check what benefits you are eligible for.
- Find out how to start a claim.
- Understand how starting work might affect your benefits.
Note: Because they have replaced the outdated Benefits Adviser service the welfare checkers have reduced some of the need for intrusive paperwork.
Any of the free ‘ready reckoners’ listed below can help you calculate how much you might receive in means-tested benefits. Consequently, you must insert accurate details about your personal and household circumstances, including:
- Income (e.g. from a payslip) as well as your partner’s income (if you have one)
- Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone who lives with you)
- Outgoings (e.g. payments for childcare, rent, or mortgage)
- Council tax bill
Free Social Security Benefits Calculators
This is what will happen once you start your free and independent calculation online:
- Begin the check by gathering information about your income, expenditure (outgoings), and any other relevant details about your benefits and allowances (e.g. award notices).
- Fill in the requested details in a tailored questionnaire.
- The checker will divulge (point out) what benefits you can claim.
- See your results highlighted and learn more about what options you have.
These are the most recognised and trusted online benefit checkers and budgeting calculators used in the United Kingdom:
For information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, and Universal Credit.
Check how these are calculated and how it affects your benefits if you start work or you change your working hours.
Who Cannot Use Benefits Calculators?
You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age to use a benefit checker. Besides that, you will not get a reliable and clear-cut result unless you are a British or Irish citizen, or you are:
- A prisoner
- A student
- Involved in industrial action (on strike)
- Living in residential care or a nursing home on a permanent basis
- Living outside of the United Kingdom
Tax Credits Calculator
Using a tax credits calculator will give you an estimate of how much you might get in tax credits for the current tax year (6th of April to 5th of April of the following year).
It is important to have some basic information ready before you start, such as:
- Your income (and your partner’s if you have one)
- Details of any benefits you are already claiming (or recently stopped claiming)
- Your working hours
- The average amount you spend on childcare each week
You can start a claim by contacting HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if the calculation shows you might qualify.
Tax Credits: General Enquiries
Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Outside UK: +44 2890 538 192
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 4pm
Are You Subject to Immigration Control?
You will need to check your eligibility to claim tax credits with HM Revenue and Customs if both of these apply:
- As part of a couple, either you or your partner is subject to immigration control.
- You are not responsible for the welfare of any children.
Note: Most people have had their tax credits replaced by Universal Credit. Check to see if you can make a new claim for tax credits on The UK Rules (or GOV.UK) website.