With 13 million living in poverty in the UK and a radical shake-up of the UK benefits system, charity Turn2us has launched a free Benefits Calculator to help people find out if they are entitled to additional financial support. Below, the charity tells us what it’s all about.
As a charity that helps people in financial need, we hear many different stories from people of all backgrounds, and know that anyone can be hit by financial hardship at any time in their lives.
Unforeseen circumstances such as job loss, family breakdown and illness are just a few of the factors that can significantly affect household income. The rising costs of everyday essentials, reduced incomes and continued public sector cuts have also had an enormous impact, and increasing numbers of people are struggling to make ends meet.
Graham is just one person who has come to us when he was struggling to make ends meet. He and his wife were living on a comfortable household income until Graham suffered a serious fall and broke both his legs, leaving him unable to run his business. He had to sell his company and his wife gave up her job to look after him. With no income, the couple struggled to make ends meet and resorted to selling possessions online to try and raise money.
We feel that it’s more important than ever that people in need are aware of the financial support that could make all the difference to their situation. That’s why we’ve just launched our new online Benefits Calculator.
This is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps anyone to find out what welfare benefits they are entitled to, how much they should receive and how to make a claim. People can also use the calculator, which is mobile friendly, to calculate their future benefit entitlement as their personal circumstances change.
The launch of the tool also comes at a time of major changes to the welfare benefits system, and can help anyone who is confused about how their benefits could be affected. The calculator includes an estimate for Universal Credit entitlement and how this compares to current benefit rates to give people an idea of how their benefits could change when this new benefit rolls out nationally from next year.
Using our Benefits Calculator, Graham found he could claim Employment and Support Allowance because of his condition following the accident. He now receives £144 in ESA every fortnight, which he says has kept him ticking along and helped him to budget for the weeks ahead.
With personal finances being increasingly stretched, we hope that the Benefits Calculator will help more people to check and access the financial support they could be entitled to. We urge anyone who is having financial difficulties to see what they might be able to claim today.
Turn2us, part of Elizabeth Finn Care, helps people in difficulty gain access to benefits, grants and financial support.