One of the reasons is that many people don't realise they qualify for them.
You may think that benefits and other forms of government support are only for those who are out of work – but that's not the case. And as a result, millions of households on low incomes are missing out.
Each year the government releases data showing how much is going unclaimed.
The benefits experts at entitledto estimate that the most recent figures add up to more than £15 billion.
The government numbers don’t include Universal Credit, which was brought in to replace Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance. That means the actual amount could be even larger.
Government support which is going unclaimed includes:
Council Tax Support
Many households could be failing to claim for several different benefits or allowances that they’re eligible for, according to entitledto. That could add up to thousands of pounds a year.
For example, around 220,000 households were estimated to be missing out on Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance (and therefore their replacement Universal Credit), worth an average of more than £4,000 a year.
There are also types of support that aren’t just for people who are out of work or on low incomes. For example, you may be able to claim a Council Tax discount if you live alone. And if you want to look at how to save money on energy, you could apply for a Green Homes Grant.
If you think you might be eligible for some of these benefits, you can check using this free calculator:
It’s an easy-to-use tool which gives you a chance to enter details such as your income, dependent children and housing costs.
The calculator then gives an estimate of any benefits you might qualify for and how to apply for them.
This takes into account the measures brought in to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
Please note: the information in this article is correct as of 6 January 2021. We’ve made every effort to make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date, but please make your own checks before doing anything.