Many people do not claim all of the benefits that they are entitled to, even though the additional income could make a significant difference to your quality of life.
There are two main types of benefits: means-tested and non means-tested.
Means-tested benefits are dependent upon your finances and only available if you qualify for them.
These benefits include Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and Council Tax Benefit. Even if you do not qualify for the full benefit, you may be able to claim some help. Universal Credit is replacing six working-age means-tested benefits.
If you qualify for a means-tested benefit you might then be entitled to receive other support, such as help with health costs. See our section on Help with health costs for further information.
Non Means-Tested Benefits
Non-means tested benefits do not usually depend on your finances but on other factors such as disability and care needs and some of them depend on your National Insurance contributions record. Examples of these benefits include Personal Independence Payment, (which has replaced Disability Living Allowance for adults under pension age) and Attendance Allowance (for those of pension age).
For further information, see our Benefits category, which gives details of each individual benefit and how you can get help to apply for them. Also see Newcastle City Council’s benefit information and other web pages
Where can I get benefits advice?
It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as;
- Citizens Advice Newcastle – provide advice to anyone in Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service – provide advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have a public advice line open to all Newcastle residents and a consultancy line and referral form for professionals.
- Search Newcastle give benefits advice to older people in the West of Newcastle
- Newcastle & Gateshead Centre Against Unemployment – TUC are a trade union based centre. Volunteers provides advice on a wide range of subjects including welfare rights (tribunal representation), employment, industrial benefits (redundancy counselling service) and asylum rights advice.
- Newcastle University Students Union help their students and prospective students with housing and benefits advice.
There are more benefit advice services in Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice‘ booklet.
Problems with benefits and tax credits
If you are of working age and get benefits like Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit, the government may limit (cap) the amount of weekly benefit for you and your family called the Benefit Cap. See the details on our Benefit Cap page
Other Useful Information
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service has lots of useful benefit information on their website including self help material and an ‘Introduction to Benefits’ document on their website.
- You may be eligible for free NHS prescriptions if you receive Income Support; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Use the NHS BSA eligibility checker.
- Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.
- entitledto is an online benefit calculator that can help you determine whether you are receiving the right amount of benefits.
- Telephones article on Information Now has details of a more affordable telephone service if you are in receipt of certain benefits for example, Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Last updated: September 3, 2021