Nine freebies and discounts worth up to £6,300 you can get on Universal Credit in November | The Sun

STRUGGLING households on Universal Credit and other benefits can get a host of freebies and discounts in November.

The help comes on top of regular payments and could come in useful with energy bills for the average household at £1,834.

Bear in mind not everyone will pay the £1,834 figure, and you might end up forking out more or less depending on your usage.

Inflation currently sits at 6.7% too, meaning the price of everyday essentials is rising.

But from cost of living payments, to the Household Support Fund and social broadband and phone tariffs, there's help at hand.

Of course, the exact amount of help you can get varies depending on your personal circumstances.

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However, if you are eligible for all the support, you will receive £6,353 in total, which could come in more than useful.

Here's everything you need to know.

Household Support Fund – £500

The Household Support Fund was first set up in 2021 but has been extended multiple times.

The most recent tranche of funding is worth £842million and has been distributed among councils in England.

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They are then allocating their own unique share.

That means what you are entitled to varies depending on where you live, but in most cases you will be in line for help if you are receiving certain benefits or on a low income.

For example, households in Ribble Valley Council have just weeks left to apply for vouchers worth up to £500.

Remember to check if you qualify for benefits too, as they can make you eligible for the Household Support Fund.

Cost of living payment – £300

The second instalment of the Government's £900 cost of living payment, worth £300, started being made on October 31 and all should be made by November 19.

Remember, if you receive tax credits only, you'll be paid between November 10 and 19.

The money is paid to you automatically if you qualify, which will be if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

You will have had to have been receiving one of the above from August 18 to September 17 to qualify for the £300 payment.

Free childcare – £1,630

Parents on Universal Credit can now receive money to cover up to 85% of childcare costs up front.

The amount available has risen too – from £646 to £951 for households with one child and £1,108 to £1,630 for two.

It is a major win for The Sun’s Make Universal Credit Work campaign.

To apply for money back on your childcare, you will have to go through your local council.

You can find out what authority area you fall under by using the Government's locator tool.

Social tariffs – £256

Households on benefits can take advantage of broadband social tariffs – you could save up to £256 on average a year too.

Of course, the exact amount you'll save varies depending on your personal circumstances.

Some of the benefits that qualify you for a social tariff include Universal Credit, Employment and support allowance and Jobseeker's Allowance.

Ofcom has a list on its website of all the providers that offer social tariffs so make sure to check them out.

Providers offer different packages and broadband speeds, so it's worth shopping around for the best deal.

Always remember that the exact amount you'll save by switching will depend on how much you were paying for your broadband before.

Energy bill grants – £1,500

A number of energy firms offer struggling customers grants to cover the cost of their bills, including British Gas, Octopus Energy, Scottish Power and EDF.

They can be worth up to a whopping £1,500 too so are well worth looking into.

Eligibility criteria varies depending on who your provider is, but usually it's if you've fallen into debt, have a low income or receive benefits.

Make sure you check with your supplier what help might be available.

Sure Start maternity grant – £500

New or expectant parents on certain benefits can get free cash help to cover the cost of having a child.

It's called the Sure Start maternity grant and you usually qualify if you're pregnant with your first child or already have children and are expecting a multiple birth (such as twins).

You or your partner will need to be on one of the following benefits to qualify:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Universal Credit

You may also qualify if you are receiving support for a Mortgage Interest loan.

You can make a claim for a Sure Start grant by filling in the Sure Start Maternity Grant (SF100) claim form.

Help to Save – £1,200

Help to Save is a scheme available to those on Universal Credit and offering a 50% bonus on any savings you make.

You can add up to £50 into a Help to Save account every month for up to four years.

So, if you added the maximum amount each month for 48 months, you would end up with a £1,200 bonus.

But you can still get some of the bonus even by saving a small amount – check out how it works.

It comes after HMRC revealed nearly 450,000 people opened a Help to Save account between September 2018 and March 2023.

But that means millions on Universal Credit still haven't opened one.

Healthy start – £442

The cost of the weekly grocery shop is enough as it is without factoring in children.

But new or expectant parents can get up to £442 worth of free food a year through the Healthy Start scheme.

Anyone more than 10 weeks pregnant or with a child under four years old and on benefits can apply online or via email.

If eligible, you are issued with a card which you can use in a number of supermarkets and retailers.

But you can only use the card to buy certain products such as plan liquid cow's milk, fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables and tinned pulses.

The full list of benefits qualifying you for the scheme is:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family

You can also apply for the scheme if you are under 18 and not on any benefits.

You can find out more about the scheme here.

Cold weather payment – £25

Cold weather payments are made to hard-up households to help cover the cost of higher energy bills during cold snaps.

Eligible households receive £25 for every seven-day period where temperatures are below zero degrees.

The money is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The scheme runs between November 1 and March 31 but you don't have to apply and will receive the payments automatically if you are eligible.

To qualify for a winter fuel payment you must be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support for mortgage interest

But you may have to meet other criteria too, including:

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  • Having a disability or be in receipt of pension premium
  • Having a child who is disabled
  • Receiving child tax credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Having a severe or enhanced disability premium
  • Being in receipt of a limited capability for work amount
  • Having a child under five living with you

You can read more about eligibility on the Government's website.

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