There are a number of online benefits checkers you can use, such as this one from Turn2us .
You may notice that the checker state that they may be unsuitable for certain people to use, for instance students, prisoners and under 18s. This is because very specific rules apply to these groups which are different to general benefit rules. DirectGov may be able to help. If you cannot find what you are looking for online then either you can Contact Us or get in touch with one of the agencies listed in our Useful Organisations section.
Before you sit down to go through the benefit checker you will need to make sure you have the following information to hand:
- Details of your income including earnings and any other benefits you are in receipt of.
- How much you have in savings, investments and other capital.
- Details of your rent/mortgage payments.
- Details of your council tax bill – how much it is and whether you get any help to pay it.
- If you are living with a partner, civil partner or husband/wife, you will need to have details of their income including earnings and any other benefits they receive. This is because you will be assessed as a couple.
- Information about anyone else you have living with you e.g. grown up children. You will need to know if they are working and what their income is.
You may find that some of your figures are in weekly amounts and others monthly (for instance you might have income that you receive every week or two weeks but then pay your rent every month or 4 weeks). You will need to convert all your figures to the same time scale, so check first whether the benefit checker you’re using is asking for weekly or monthly figures, then use our conversion guide below to get all your figures to fit.
- Weekly to monthly – Times your weekly figure by 52. Then take your answer and divide it by 12.
- Monthly to weekly – Times your monthly figure by 12. Then divide the answer by 52.
- Weekly to 4 weekly – Times your figure by 4
- 4 weekly to weekly – Divide your figure by 4.
- Monthly to 4 weekly – Times your monthly figure by 12. Divide the answer by 52, then times the result by 4.
- 4 weekly to monthly – Divide the figure by 4. Times the answer by 52. Then take your result and divide it by 4.
- Half termly – Lesson fees need to be multiplied by 6 to get a yearly figure.
- Weekly activities that only happen during term time need to by multiplied by 39 (usual number of weeks in an academic year) to get an annual figure.