• Welfare Law

    WELFARE LAW

    Are you entitled to welfare benefit? Are you currently in receipt of welfare benefit? Do you require advice and assistance? Our welfare benefit specialist at Prime Solicitors can offer advice and assistance on Welfare benefit Law.

    In work or looking for work

    If you are working, you may still be able to get benefits or tax credits if you are on a low income. It does not matter whether you are working for someone else or self-employed. The benefits you can get depend on your circumstances, your earnings and other money you have coming in, and on how many hours you work each week. There are different benefits for people who work less than 16 hours a week and for people who work 16 hours or more.

    Jobseeker’s Allowance

    Jobseeker’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are unemployed but capable of work.

    You can usually claim Jobseeker’s Allowance only if you are 18 or over. However, 16 and 17-year-olds who are unemployed and not in full-time education may, in some circumstances, be able to claim.

    Working Tax Credit

    Are you eligible for working tax credit? You can get Working Tax Credit if you or your partner is working enough hours a week and your income is low enough. You don’t need to have children to qualify. You can also get working tax credit if you are disabled.

    You must be living in the UK. If you are from abroad, you may have difficulty claiming Working Tax Credit depending on your immigration status.

    Who can get Working Tax Credit

    The number of hours a week you have to work to be able to get Working Tax Credit depends on your circumstances.

    If you are single or a couple, and have no children, you can qualify if:

    • you are 25 or over and you work at least 30 hours a week, or
    • you are 16 or over and you work at least 16 hours a week and you are disabled and you get a qualifying benefit, or
    • you are 60 or over and you work at least 16 hours a week.

    Benefits for families and children

    There are several different benefits for families to help with the extra costs of children. These include benefits for women who are pregnant or who have just had their baby, benefits for the partners of women who have given birth, benefits for people who adopt, and benefits, tax credits and other help which you may be able to get when you have responsibility for a child or young person.

    Benefits for maternity

    If you’re having a baby, you may be able to get Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance. This will depend on whether you work and, if you do, how much you earn and how long you have worked for the same employer. If you’re pregnant, you may be entitled to free vitamins and Healthy Start vouchers to help with the cost of milk, fruit and vegetables.  Whether or not you can get this help may depend on your

    Benefits for children

    The main benefits for children are Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. Most people living in the UK can claim Child Benefit for their children. If a child’s parents cannot look after a child, the person who does care for the child may be able to claim Guardian’s Allowance as well.

    Child Benefit

    Child Benefit is a tax-free benefit paid to most people with children. You do not need to have paid any national insurance contributions to get Child Benefit and you can get it regardless of your income. However, if you are getting Child Benefit and have income above a certain level, you may have to pay extra tax because you are getting Child Benefit.

    Guardian’s Allowance

    Guardian’s allowance is a tax-free benefit which you can claim if you look after a child who is not your own (biologically or by adoption) and the child’s parents have died. In some cases, you can get it if there is one surviving parent but that parent can’t look after the child for a specified reason. So, you may be able to get Guardian’s Allowance if you look after a child who is an orphan, or whose surviving parent is missing or in prison, or whose adoptive parent has died. You can only get it if you receive Child Benefit for the child. (When your child was born). It does not matter why you did not claim earlier.

    Statutory Paternity Pay

    If you are a working father, or the partner of a woman having a child (including a same-sex partner), you may be able to get Statutory Paternity Pay for two weeks during your paternity leave. You can also get Statutory Paternity Pay for paternity leave you take when you are adopting a child.

    Young people and benefits

    Prime Solicitors can assist with young people applying benefits and disability.

    Disability Living Allowance

    You can get Disability Living Allowance for a child who has care needs or mobility problems. Care needs include help with washing and dressing, and mobility problems having difficulty walking at an age when most children would not need help. Children under 16 cannot claim Disability Living Allowance in their own right, so usually you will claim this for your child if you are their parent or guardian.

    Income Support

    Income Support is a benefit for people on a low income to help them pay for their day-to-day living costs.

    You can usually claim Income Support only if you are 18 or over. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may get Income Support if you:-

    • have a child or are pregnant
    • are on certain kinds of training courses.

    Being entitled to Income Support will also depend on whether you are still at school or live with your parents. 16 or 17 year olds who have been in care cannot usually get Income Support, but there are exceptions. Lone parents who have been in care can get the benefit.

    If you are 16 or 17 and want advice about claiming benefits or you are 16 or 17 and have been in care,

    Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

    Housing Benefit is a benefit for people on a low income to help them pay their rent. Council Tax Reduction. There is nothing to stop a young person claiming Housing Benefit, but the amount you can get if you are a single person aged under 35 with no children is restricted.

    Social Fund and welfare assistance schemes

    The Social Fund helps people on a low income pay for one-off expenses which they would not otherwise be able to afford.

    From 1 April 2013, you can no longer get a crisis loan to help with emergency costs, but you may be able to get help from a welfare assistance scheme.

    If you are receiving Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, you may also be able to get a budgeting loan.

    Income Support

    Income Support is a benefit for people on a low income to help them pay for their day-to-day living costs.

    You can usually claim Income Support only if you are 18 or over. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may get Income Support if you:-

    • have a child or are pregnant
    • are on certain kinds of training course.

    Being entitled to Income Support will also depend on whether you are still at school or live with your parents. 16 or 17 year olds who have been in care cannot usually get Income Support, but there are exceptions. Lone parents who have been in care can get the benefit.