What help might be available

If you're a low paid worker you may be entitled to:

  • Universal Credit to top up your pay
  • Council Tax Reduction

If you have children you can also claim Child Benefit. Some people might be entitled to Tax Credits and Housing Benefit but these are gradually being replaced by Universal Credit.

If you already receive these benefits you'll carry on getting them but if your circumstances change, you might have to claim Universal Credit instead.

The Government has started to move people in Bristol who receive Tax Credits onto Universal Credit in 2023.

How do I qualify?

Whether you qualify for additional income based on your earnings depends on many factors; your age, who lives in your household, whether anyone is disabled, wages and any other income, working hours, and any approved childcare costs.

For Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claims, your savings, your rent, how many bedrooms you need, and your council tax band will also be taken into account. There are detailed rules on how much rent can be covered by benefit.

If you have other adults such as grown up children living at home, they may be expected to pay towards rent and council tax. These contributions are called non-dependant deductions or housing costs contributions.

If anyone in your household is disabled or has long term health problems, they may be entitled to disability or health related benefits

If anyone cares for a disabled person or frail older person for 35 hours a week or more, they may be entitled to carer's allowance.

How to find out more and make a claim

Universal Credit

Find out about Universal Credit.

You can claim Universal Credit online on GOV.UK Go to https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim (opens new window).

Tax Credits

You can no longer make a new claim for either Child or Working Tax Credits unless you receive one of these already.

Find out more about Tax Credits on GOV.UK Go to http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/ (opens new window).

Housing Benefit

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you:

  • live in temporary or supported accommodation
  • are old enough to get State Pension Credit


Find out more about housing benefit or make a new claim.

Claim by phone

Call 0117 922 2300, open 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.