The Resolution Foundation think tank reports that an estimated 300,000 British people could be entitled to benefits which they aren’t claiming. These people either don’t have jobs or have very low incomes, so they could be receiving support from the government.
The Forgotten Unemployed
Only 800,000 out of 1.5 million unemployed adults in Britain are claiming benefits. Many of those remaining aren’t eligible to claim benefits because a partner or parent supports them financially. But what about the rest out of those 700,000 unemployed Britons? They are missing out on benefits payments which could help to ease their financial struggles.
These “forgotten” people are mainly 55 to 64 years old and mostly women. Younger men also make up the group of people who are “falling through the cracks” with no benefits support. If they claimed benefits, they could get around £70 a week to help them. This leaves £21.9 million in potential benefit payments unclaimed every week.
Challenge Entitlement Decisions
Despite this unclaimed benefits money, the DWP still makes unnecessary strict payment cuts. Appeals found that a large proportion of Work Capability Assessment judgements denying payments to people with disabilities were incorrect. The DWP has a target to uphold 80% of benefits decisions, so overturning a wrong decision can be difficult.
If the Job Centre has cut your benefits payments and misrepresented your circumstances, you should contact them to find out how you can appeal. Use the appropriate benefits helpline number from the list of useful numbers on the right side of this page. If you need a Welfare Rights Adviser to help with your case, contact Citizens Advice.
Make More Benefits Claims
Even with the benefits cap, you might still be entitled to more benefits than you currently receive. There are some benefits you can’t claim at the same time. Often, you can still receive things like housing and child benefits even if you’re already claiming an employment support benefit.
Some people may not be claiming benefits because they don’t think their situation is long-term or desperate enough. Contact the Job Centre or Citizens Advice to find out if you’re eligible for anything. If you are, then go ahead and claim these benefit payments.
There’s no shame in accepting the financial help available. The government should help all of its citizens, and not deny people who need support or overlook unemployed people. If you’re one of the people who is struggling to find work, get in touch with your local Job Centre. Aside from topping up your income, they can help you with job-searching resources and support agencies.