Many people miss out on benefits because they don't know what they are entitled to. The RCN can provide free, confidential advice and guide you through the complex, ever changing and often confusing benefits maze.
We can provide you with expert advice and guidance about your entitlement to welfare benefits (including state retirement pension) and tax credits. We can offer you a full benefits check if you wish to check your entitlement following a change in circumstances such as a reduction in your income.
We can also offer you guidance and paper representation to appeal benefit decisions. If we find we are unable to support a request for paper representation at appeal, we will give you a clear and detailed explanation as to why we reached this decision.
If you answer yes to any of the following, then you might be eligible for benefits or tax credits to boost your income:
- are you on a low income (perhaps you are working part-time)?
- are you unemployed?
- have you been made redundant?
- do you have an illness and your pay has reduced because of this?
- do you care for someone with an illness or disability?
- do you have children under 19?
- are you pregnant?
- are you over 60?
- do you have a disability?
What benefits might I be entitled to?
The Department for Work and Pensions has an online guide which provides information about the main welfare benefits available. These include:
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Council Tax Benefit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Jobseeker's Allowance
To view the online guide, go to www.direct.gov.uk. This information is only suitable for people aged 18 or over. It is also not suitable for you if you are a prisoner, non-UK national, a student or permanently living in a nursing home. If you're in one of these categories of people, contact the Welfare Rights and Guidance service for more information.
There may be other benefits you can get that are not included in the online guide. To check whether you may be entitled to any other benefits, contact us for further information.
Please be aware that tax credits and some welfare benefits, as well as certain kinds of local authority housing are deemed to be public funds. If you have limited leave to remain in the UK and a public funds restriction stamped in your passport, please seek advice from the RCN Welfare Rights and Guidance service before applying for any benefits as this could have a detrimental impact on your ability to remain in the UK.
Go to an up-to-date list of public funds on the Home Office website.
We have a range of factsheets giving advice on specific benefits that may answer some of your questions - you can access these on the factsheets page. However, if you would like to discuss your own personal circumstances with a welfare adviser, please contact us.
To contact the Welfare Rights and Guidance Service, call the RCN Member Support Services Helpline on 0345 408 4391. Calls for this service are answered between 9.30am - 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can self-refer using the online referral form.