Maggie's

See what's happening in the Community

You are not logged in.   Log In

Meet the team

As well as sharing experiences with our friendly online community, registered members are able to contact our experienced online team. The Centre is staffed during office hours and the online team aim to reply within 24 hours.

Psychologists and experts from other Maggie's Centres and partner organisations also facilitate some group and individual sessions.

Picture of Topic Benefits advice

Topic

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.

  • 144 conversations

Means tested benefits

Started by Tombenefits   on 02 May 2017 at 13:58
Edited on 26 May 2017 at 17:41

Hi everyone,

I have just started a new mini series looking at the current means tested benefits and tax credits.

Part 1 - available here - looks at just what exactly "means testing" is and why, to many people's surprise, by no means all benefits are linked to your income and savings. 

Why are some benefits means tested and some not? Its a mix of different objectives, mood swings and history. What might a purely means tested / purely non-means tested one look like?

In Part 2 - available here - I get up front and personal with the means tested benefits - and related tax credits. What are they? How might they help? How do I claim? This time I focus on the ones that act to top up a low - or temporarily - reduced income

In Part 3 - available here - I look at other means tested benefits that help with specific bills and costs - paying the rent, mortgage, council tax and health costs. I will also look at "passporting" that means that receiving one low income benefit can passport you through the financial assessment for others.

In Part 4 - I will have a look at the sums - eek! aargh! Possibly as welcome as  double maths on a Tuesday afternoon :-). But with simple examples with the aid of some well known characters, it may not be so scary. I will focus on "working age" claims as you can already see how these work for Pension Credit here.

And finally in Part 5 I will look at the similar but different world of the sums for tax credits

Doing the sums helps illustrate that - especially with the additions for "disability" and "caring" these benefits and tax credits  can go higher than you think. And some have no savings limit either

The key points before thinking "I'm feeling the pinch with extra costs and maybe reduced income, but I doubt benefits will apply to me" are:

  - 1 - by no means all benefits are "means tested". Many are payable regardless of income and savings. 

  - 2 - Even the ones that are,  may go beyond minimum safety net subsistence levels especially with additions that often apply to people affected by cancer. Don't do what some 40% of older people - OK, middle youths :-) - entitled to Pension Credit do - which is to simply not claim :-(...

So, you are never allowed to say that you can't claim any benefits without a signed note from me :-)

Please feel to join the conversation below with any comments, general thoughts or shared experiences,  around means tested benefits and tax credits.

But also please feel free to message me for a free, confidential and independent  check on any benefits that might apply in your situation.

Best wishes,

Tom

Online Centre Benefits Advisor

Picture of Tombenefits

    Registered Office: Maggie's, The Stables, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU   Registered Charity Number: SC024414
    The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust is a company limited by guarantee   Company Number: SC162451