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Topic Benefits advice

Read weekly blogs from benefits advisor Tom. Post questions, share experiences around financial support in the conversations, message Tom privately or book an online ‘live chat’ session.

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Means tested benefit sums made easy

Started by Tombenefits   on 08 August 2017 at 22:05
Edited on 08 August 2017 at 22:08


For many the thought of sums causes a slight panic and traumas of double maths on a Tuesday afternoon.

But in the Benefits Blog - available here - I try to gently lead you through the workings of the current means tested benefits, with the help of a range of heroes of magical fiction!

The point is not the arithmetic and the sums but that it can help to understand how they work. In particular,  how "premiums" make such a difference to turning bare 1960s subsistence basic benefit rates, into something that's a little more manageable. 

In fact the alternative geeks title might be "All Hail to the Premiums", though Latin scholars amongst you would suggest that be premia :-)

Many tell me that the premiums - also going under the name of components, additions or elements - can, when combined with PIP and AA awards really make the financial difference between "living and merely existing" 

Yet while some of these are reliably added, others can go missing :-(  And some may require a little additional form or some other claims - eg for PIP or Attendance Allowance  - to trigger these handy extra amounts. 

So it's always worth checking if you are getting the correct amount within a current claim. Or seeing if you might be missing out on some extra help if you haven't yet made a claim. 

You may have been correctly turned down in the past, but by the power of premiums, you could now become entitled to these benefits for the first time :-)

And even if the means tested - or "income related benefits still seem unlikely, do remember that many benefits are not affected by other income or savings at all.

Please feel free to join this Conversation with any general comments, queries or experiences about the Blog and these benefits. Just post away below.

But please also feel free to message me for a private chat about your potential entitlement to these useful top ups and help with housing and health costs.

Happy reading...but do take short breaks as you go :-)

Best wishes,


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