Published On: Mon, Aug 1st, 2022

Universal Credit claimants could get ‘freebies’ worth thousands this August – check now | Personal Finance | Finance


The UK has seen a whole host of daily living costs increase over the first seven months of the year due to rising inflation. From the cost of food to prices at the pump and surging energy bills, families are facing a massive squeeze on their finances. However, those who claim Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Pension Credit do have to opportunity to claim some “freebies” to aid them with the cost of summer.

Parents who claim free school meals for their children have the opportunity to enrol on the Government’s holiday activities and food programme over the summer months.

The programmes provide activities and at least one meal a day for those who attend.

The programme provides £200million worth of funding for 152 local councils over the next three years and is for school-aged children from reception to year 11.

People can also claim cash through their local council to help pay for food over the holidays. Usually, parents can claim up to £90 per child during the summer break, however, this can change depending on the area.

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The Government’s Healthy Start Scheme can also help with the cost of food by it offering parents on low incomes prepaid card payments of up to £442 a year to shop at major supermarkets.

What can be purchased with the card includes cow’s milk, fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk and fresh, dried, and tinned pulses.

Families may also be eligible for tax-free childcare or the childcare costs for over the summer months. The costs however are paid upfront and claimed back.

Families could claim back up to 85 percent of their childcare costs up to £646 for one child or £1,108 for two or more up to August 31 following the child’s 16th birthday.

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People will also need to already have a water meter installed, and will need to prove that they have to use a lot of water.

Other support that can be claimed includes free or cheap broadband from TalkTalk, Virgin Media and BT as well as a reduction for BT phone calls.

Alongside this, those on Universal Credit can claim free prescriptions, free dental treatment, free eye tests and discounted glasses as well as travel costs for the treatment.

Travel can also be claimed with those on Universal Credit able to apply for half-price bus and discounted rail fares.

Announced in March this year, the Government announced that households would receive a £150 rebate to help them with energy costs. Although it was supposed to be paid in April many are still waiting.

The Government has given local authorities the deadline of September 30 to issue the money. This means that many could receive £150 over the summer months.

The majority of those who haven’t been paid do not pay their council tax by direct debit and are being encouraged to contact their local council to find out exactly how they can claim the money.

If people are looking for a job over the summer, they may be entitled to the Government’s Flexible Support Fund.

This is a pot of money that has been put aside to help with the costs of getting a job and is managed by local job centres.

The money is used to cover the costs of job hunting and can be used to cover the cost of travel to an interview, the training for a job, tools for work, clothing and uniforms to start work.



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