Welfare Benefits Information

There are many different types of benefits available, and sometimes it can feel really complicated to work out what you are entitled to and how to make a claim. This section lists the most common benefits and directs you to where you can find more information about the benefit itself, who can get it and how to claim.

More general information about which benefits you may apply for, depending on your situation can be found in our At a Glance information section. You can also find out about benefits in Tameside from the Benefits in Tameside website.

If the benefit you want information about is not included on this list then try searching for it on the DirectGov website  as they should be able to direct you. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of the agencies listed in our Further Help and Advice section or Contact Us to request more information.

    • Care to Learn – If you are under 20 and have a child, you may be entitled to help with your childcare costs if you wish to carry on learning. This can include school and college courses, apprenticeships and some other courses. 
    • Carer’s Allowance – If you look after someone who is disabled you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. You do not have to be related to, or even live with the person you care for to be eligible. 
    • Carer’s Credit – This allows those who care for someone else to build up National Insurance contributions so they still qualify for their State Pension. 
    • Child Benefit – This is a tax free payment you can receive 4 weekly for each child. It is currently payable to everyone, regardless of your savings or household income, although this will be changing soon.  
    • Child Benefit you get on behalf of someone else – Very young parents or those who are ill or disabled may be unable to make a Child Benefit claim for themselves. In these circumstances someone else may be able to make the claim on their behalf. 
    • Child Maintenance – This is money paid by a parent who does not have the main responsibility for caring for their children, to the parent who does. 
    • Child Tax Credits – These payments are to help anyone who has responsibility for a child with the costs of caring for them. 
    • Childcare Costs
    • Childcare Grant – For parents who are in full time education, a Childcare Grant may be available to help with the costs of childcare both during term time and in the holidays. The amount you get will depend on your household income, the number of children you have and how much you pay for childcare. 
    • Children with disabilities 
    • Christmas Bonus – For those who are receiving a qualifying benefit in the qualifying week (usually the first week of December) a one off payment of £10 is made to help with costs over Christmas. 
    • Claim Forms
    • Cold Weather Payment – You may be able to receive a Cold Weather Payment for each period of very cold weather in your area if you’re receiving certain benefits. 
    • Combined Pension Forecasting – This allows you to get a better picture of your retirement income by combining information about your State Pension with details of any company orpersonal pensions you may hold. 
    • Community Care Grants – if you need help to live independently in the community or you are under exceptional financial pressure you may be able to claim a Community Care Grant  
    • Company Pensions – Your employer may offer a pension scheme which you will have the option to sign up to when you start work. These are also sometimes known as occupational pensions.  
    • Constant Attendance Allowance – If you require daily care because of your disability and you are claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or a War Disablement Pension, you may be able to get Constant Attendance Allowance.  
    • Council Tax discounts – People in certain circumstances (for instance if you are a carer, student, youth trainee or severely mentally disabled) may be entitled to a discount on theircouncil tax. Check if you qualify.   
    • Council Tax reduction for disabled people – If you or someone you live with is disabled, and needs a bigger home with extra space because of your disability, you may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax.  
    • Direct Payment – If you are ill or disabled then you may be able to arrange your own care and services and the council will provide you with the money to pay for the services, rather than the council arranging the service and making the payment on your behalf. 
    • Direct Payments for disabled children – Direct payments may also be available if you wish to arrange care and services for your disabled child. 
    • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – This is a tax free payment for people who suffer from disability in order to help with any extra costs you may have because you are disabled. It is based on your care and mobility needs. Will be replaced by Personal Independence Payment.
    • Disabled Students’ Allowance’s (DSAs) – These are available to all students with a disability (including mental health problems and learning difficulties such as dyslexia), regardless of household income. You will have to attend an assessment centre which will consider your needs and what amount to award you. DSAs can be used to pay for specialist equipment you may need for study, extra travel costs associated with your disability and other non-medical costs such as a helper or note-taker. 
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – This is intended to gradually replace Incapacity Benefit and Income Support. For those who suffer from illness or disability, ESA provides financial support and help getting back into appropriate work for those who are able to.

    • Fifty Plus In-Work Training Grant – If you are starting a new job at age 50 or over, this grant may be able to help with work related training costs. This grant is no longer available to those who began training after March 31st 2011.
    • Financial Assistance Scheme – This scheme assists people who have lost out on their pension fund, for instance because their employer went bankrupt. 
    • Flexible New Deal – Delivered by Jobcentre Plus, Flexible New Deal aims to help people find a job, training or work experience. 
    • Free School Meals – Families in receipt of certain benefits may qualify for free school lunches. These are usually provided through your local authority so you will need to contact Tameside Council to confirm your eligibility. 
    • Funeral Payment – If you are on a low income and someone close to you dies, you may be eligible for a Funeral Payment if it is you who will be responsible for arranging the funeral 
    • Health in Pregnancy Grant – This was a one off payment to help new mums with the extra costs they may have before the baby’s birth. The scheme is now closed. 
    • Help with health costs – Many NHS services are free, but some do charge. If you are on a lowincome you may be entitled to help with these costs. 
    • Homeowners Mortgage Support – This is a government backed scheme which could allow you to defer some of the interest payments in your mortgage for up to 2 years. It is intended to help those who have had a temporary drop in income, perhaps as a result of losing a job or having their hours reduced. 
    • Housing Benefit (HB) – If you’re on a low income you may be able to claim Housing Benefit to help towards the cost of your rent. 
    • Housing Benefit – Non-Dependant Deductions – If you have a non-dependant person, such as a grown up child or other relative living with you, you will receive less housing benefit as this person will be expected to make a contribution towards the rent.  
    • Job Grant – This is a one off payment you may get if you or your partner move directly from claiming benefits into full-time work
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) – This is the main benefit you are likely to receive if you are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week on average. To qualify, you must be actively seeking employment. 
    • Maternity Allowance (MA) – Those who do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (for example if you are self-employed) may be able to claim Maternity Allowance instead. You cannot claim both. 
    • Medical costs for war pensioners – If you are a war pensioner who needs medical treatment or care because you were left disabled by an injury you received while serving in the Armed Forces, you may be entitled to help with costs. 
    • Mortgage Interest Run On – This is an extra payment you can get for four weeks to help with housing costs if certain other benefits are stopped because you are returning to work, taking on more hours or receiving a pay rise. 
    • Mortgage Rescue Scheme – If you are struggling to make mortgage repayments and are in danger of becoming homeless then you may be eligible for help through this scheme. Either you or someone in your household must be classed as being in ‘priority need’ for you to qualify. You may be classed as priority need if you have children living with you, or if you or someone you live with is pregnant, ill or disabled.  
    • National Insurance Number – You will need a National Insurance number to work or receive benefits. If you do not have one, or have lost it, you can apply here. 
    • New Deal – Jobcentre Plus offers a range of ’New Deal’ programs to help unemployed people get back into work. 
    • New Deal for Lone Parents – New Deal for Lone Parents is a voluntary programme of special help and support to assist single parents to find paid employment. 
    • New Deal for Musicians – Musicians and composers interested in a career in music can be offered advice and support to help you succeed in the music industry. 
    • New Deal for Partners – This is for people whose partner is claiming benefits for them. You will get help and advice to look for work or training to suit you. 
    • Non Dependant Deductions from Housing Benefit – If you have a non-dependant person, such as a grown up child or other relative living with you, you will receive less housing benefit as this person will be expected to make a contribution towards the rent.  
    • Ordinary Paternity Leave – If you are about to become a father, or will be jointly responsible for bringing up a child, you may be entitled to some time off work. 
    • Over 80 Pension – For those over the age of 80 there is an additional pension available if you have little or no State Pension because you did not pay enough National Insurance contributions when you were working. The Over 80 pension is not based on National Insurance contributions.  
    • Parent’s Learning Allowance – For parents who are in full time education, this payment can help towards the cost of your course, such as books and equipment. The amount you get will depend on your household income. You can apply for Parent’s Learning Allowance with your application for student finance. 
    • Pensions – There are different types of pensions available and you may wish to take advice on which is right for you. See our Pensions page for more. 
    • Pension Credit – Pension Credit is extra income available to top up the amount you receive from your pension. There are two types available: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit, you may be entitled to either or both, depending on your circumstances. 
    • Personal Pensions – Personal pensions are pensions you arrange yourself through a pension provider (often a bank, building society or other financial agency). The money is invested for you until you retire, when you will receive a regular income from the pension. 
    • Pensioner’s Guide – This guide from the Pension Service, covers a variety of issues including benefits, pensions and other money matters.  
    • Pneumoconiosis (and other dust-related diseases) Compensation – If you suffer from Pneumoconiosis (or another dust-related disease) caused by your work and are unable to claim compensation from your employer, you may be able to claim a one off lump sum payment.  
    • Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA) – If you are unable to earn as much as you normally would due to an accident or illness which was caused by your work and happened before 1st October 1990, you may be entitled to Reduced Earnings Allowance.  
    • Retirement – Planning for your retirement is extremely important, and you may want to read up on the sort of help and support available once you retire. 
    • Return to Work Credit – Return to Work Credit is a tax free payment of £40 per week for people that have, or have had, a health condition or disability which has prevented you from working. It can be paid for up to 52 weeks to help you with costs when you start working 16 hours a week or more.  
    • School Clothing Grant – This is a discretionary payment which is paid by the local authority to help with school uniform costs.
    • Second Adult Rebate – If you have a non-dependant person, such as a grown up child or other relative living with you who is on a low income you may be able to claim Second Adult Rebate, which will reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay. 
    • SERPS and the State Second Pension – The State Second Pension used to be known as SERPS (The State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme). It provides an additional pension to those on a low income. 
    • Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) – Before April 2001, if you were unable to work for at least 28 weeks in a row because of illness or disability, you may have been able to claim Severe Disablement Allowance. No new claims can now be put in for Severe Disablement Allowance. 
    • Single Person Discount – You can claim this discount on your council tax if you are the only adult eligible to pay council tax who is living in the home. 
    • Stakeholder Pensions – Stakeholder pensions are a type of personal pension which must meet certain standards to ensure they are fair and secure. 
    • Starting a new business 
    • State Pension – Once you reach the qualifying age you are entitled to your State Pension from the government. The amount you get depends on how many ‘qualifying years’ of National Insurance contributions you have
    • Statutory Adoption Leave – When you adopt a child, you may have the right to up to 52 weeks off work to care for your child.
    • Statutory Adoption Pay – This is the payment you may get off your employer to help you take time off when you adopt a child. Similar to Statutory Maternity and Paternity Pay, you must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the time you are informed you have been matched with a child to qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay. 
    • Statutory Maternity Leave – If you are an employee and you find out you are pregnant, you may be entitled to up to 52 weeks leave to care for your baby. 
    • Statutory Paternity Pay – New fathers are also entitled to paid time off when their child is born, or if your wife, partner or civil partner adopts a child. Similarly to Statutory Maternity Pay, you must have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before your child is born, or up to and until the week your wife, partner or civil partner was matched with a child for adoption. 
    • Statutory Redundancy Pay – When you are made redundant you are entitled to redundancy pay if you have worked for your employer for at least two years. The amount you get may vary depending on how long you have been working and how old you are. Redundancy pay should be automatically paid to you by your employer. 
    • Statutory Sick Pay – If you are off work because you are ill, and you are an employee, you may be entitled to up to 28 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay from your employer. 
    • Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) – If you are a homeowner and are entitled to certainincome-related benefits, you may be entitled to help with your mortgage interest payments to avoid you losing your home.  
    • Sure Start Maternity Grant – This grant is also available to lower income families (after 11th April 2011 you will only be eligible if the new baby is the only child in the family under 16) 
    • Tax Credits – Tax credits are payments from the government. If you are responsible for a child you may be entitled to child tax benefit, if you work but are on a low income, you may be eligible for working tax credit. You can claim both if you are entitled to them. 
    • Temporary stays in a care home – Sometimes when you are considering a move to a care home, a temporary stay may be a good way to see if the move would be right for you. 
    • Travel to Interview Scheme – This was a scheme which could help with travel costs if you were invited to an interview away from your local area (but in the UK) for a job working 16 hours or more a week and lasting for more than 6 months. The scheme is now closed, however you may still be able to get help with travel costs through Jobcentre Plus. This help is discretionary and no one is automatically entitled to receive it.  
    • TV License Concessions – Some people are entitled to money off their TV license, for instance if you are over 75 or are registered blind.  
  • Vehicle tax for disabled people – If you are disabled and are in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) or War Pensioners Mobility Supplement then you may be eligible for a free tax disc for your car. The vehicle must be registered in your name (although you can nominate someone else to drive it) and must only be for your personal use. 

    • War Disablement Pension – Anyone who has been injured or disabled as a result of service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces before 6 April 2005 and is no longer serving may be entitled to War Disablement Pension. 
    • War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension – If your wife, husband or civil partner died as a result of their service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces you may be entitled to War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension. 
    • Warm Front Scheme – The Warm Front Scheme can help install heating and insulation in your home if you are on certain disability or income related benefits. 
    • Widowed Parent’s Allowance – If you receive Child Benefit for your child or children and your husband, wife, partner or civil partner dies, you may be able to claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance.  
    • Winter Fuel Payments – If you have reached the qualifying age (born on or before 5 July 1950) you may be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment to help you keep warm in winter.  
    • Work Trials and Employment on Trial – A work trial is a trial in an actual job which has a vacancy. This can help you get back into employment.