Knowing your benefits rights and how to claim will help you get all the help you're entitled to. The benefits system may be complex, but it doesn't have to be confusing.

  • You may be eligible for benefits if you:
    • Have a low income
    • Have children
    • Are sick or disabled
    • Are a full-time carer
    • Have been bereaved

    Your age, income and where you live are also affecting factors.

  • How do I find out what benefits I'm entitled to?

    You can use the benefit calculator, or agencies such as Citizens Advice, or you can contact the Advice Team at Southway to request a benefits calculation. 

    We can help with claims for Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance and any issues around benefits.

    Need more information on Welfare Benefits?

  • How do I claim?

    If you're claiming benefits for the first time, it's a good idea to speak to us about your options.

    We can help you with:

    • Checking what you're entitled to
    • Completing online forms
    • Getting decisions changed, including supporting you with Mandatory Reconsiderations and appeals
    • Home visits, if necessary

    Contact us and ask to speak to the Advice Team. A Welfare Rights Advisor can provide any support you need.


  • Southway’s Support Success
    • 67% of PIP tribunals were judged in the claimant's favour last year
    • Our Advice Team's welfare rights specialists are often successful at winning appeals
  • What benefits may I be entitled to? (and how to apply)

    All benefit applications must be completed via the government website.

    To find out what benefits you are entitled to, click here for a benefit calculator

    Once you have carried out your calculation, you will be presented with the correct applications to apply for the benefits directly.

    If you have any difficulties in using the benefits calculator, or need additional support, please don't hesitate to contact us.

  • Welfare Reform - What do I need to know?

    For more details, you can find all you need to know in the government leaflet all about Welfare Reform.

  • Pension Credit

    When you apply for Pension Credit your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your income is calculated together.

    Pension Credit tops up applicable from April 2023

    • your weekly income to £201.05 if you’re single
    • your joint weekly income to £306.85 if you have a partner

    If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs.

    Could Pension Credit give you extra income?

    To carry out a check, click here.

    For more information, and to make a claim, click here.

    What is Pension Credit?

    There are two types of Pension Credit: Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit. Some people get one or the other, whereas some people may get both.

    Guarantee Pension Credit is a benefit which people of Pension Credit Age can claim; it tops up their income to a minimum level. It is much more generous than working age means-tested benefits. Even if you are entitled to a small amount, you will automatically qualify for the maximum help with your rent, so it is well worth making a claim. Even if you're not sure whether you'll qualify, you've got nothing to lose.

    Savings Pension Credit is for people aged 65 and over. It provides extra money to some people who have made some additional provisions for their retirement, such as a private or workplace pension.

    If you reached the State Pension age on, or after, the 6th April 2016, you will not be entitled to claim Savings Pension Credit. 

    Important: Changes to Pension Credit

    As of the 15th May 2019, mixed-age couples will no longer be able to apply for Pension Credit, if the younger of the couple is of working age.

    If you are in a mixed-age couple, and one of you qualifies for Pension Credit, you will have to claim Universal Credit instead. Click here for more information.

  • Personal Independence Payment (replaces Disability Living Allowance)

    What is Personal Independence Payment?

    Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit paid to help with some of the extra costs caused by a long term illness or disability. An award of Personal Independence Payment can dramatically increase your income.

    Unsure whether you're eligible for PIP? Use this online 'checker' to find out.

    PIP and Disability Living Allowance

    As of April 2013, PIP has gradually been replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

    This change does not apply to:

    • Anyone aged 65 and over, as of 8th April 2013
    • People who are eligible for a badge under any other criteria, such as; those who are registered blind, Armed Forces personnel, people with a disability in both arms, children under 3 with specific medical conditions.

    If you are currently claiming DLA, and are unsure if you need to transition to PIP, click here. You can also get more information by visiting GOV.UK.

    Need some help? Click here to contact us.


  • More Welfare and Benefit information
    • Non-dependent deductions - Does someone age 18 or over live with you?
      Non-dependants are normally classed as anyone living with you aged 18 or over (if you are getting Universal Credit, it’s 21 or over).  The government assumes that these adults will contribute towards household costs, including your rent and Council Tax.  They can therefore deduct a sum of money from your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support entitlement, and this is called a non-dependant deduction. If you are getting Universal Credit, they can take a sum of money from it- and its official title is a ‘housing cost contribution’ but we’ll refer to it here as a non-dependant deduction.
      These rules are complicated and the wrong deduction can sometimes be made – making a big difference to your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and Council Tax Support award, and so to how much rent and council tax you have to pay

      More information around non-dependent deductions (government website)

    • Discretionary Housing Payments
      Are you on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and struggling to pay your rent?
      Or perhaps you need to move due to the Welfare Reform changes but don’t have the money for a deposit for privately rented housing, or for removal costs?
      Every year the government gives local councils a pot of money to make Discretionary Housing Payments to help people who qualify for Housing Benefit (or the housing costs element of Universal Credit) who are having trouble with:
      paying their rent, or
      finding enough money to pay for the start-up costs of a tenancy, such as rent deposits and removal costs.
    • Council Tax Support
      If you're a low income, you could receive a reduction in your Council Tax Bill, through the Council Tax Support Scheme.
      Council Tax Support replaced Council Tax Benefit in 2013. One of the key differences with the new scheme is that individual Councils now decide who is eligible for a Council Tax reduction, based on their own rules. These rules can be changed by the Council each April.
      Council Tax Support helps people on low income and/or certain Welfare Benefits to pay their Council Tax. If you think you would qualify, you'll need to apply to your Council for a reduction.
      Claiming Universal Credit?
      Unlike Housing Benefit, Universal Credit does not include Council Tax Support. If you are claiming Universal Credit, then you MUST make a separate claim for Council Tax Support from your Council. Click here to apply. 
    • Benefit Cap
      Are you a large family or live in a property with a high rent?
      The government introduced rules which limit the overall amount of welfare benefits a ‘working age’ household can receive. It does not affect you if you and your partner are Pension Credit age.
      The cap mainly affects large families (4 or more children – 3 or more in higher rented areas).
      Check the Benefit Cap Calculator to see if you are effected.
      If you (or you and your partner) are affected it is worth checking to see if you can claim one of the benefits that will exclude you from the Cap. 
  • Further Information and Advice

    Need further help or advice? This may concern benefit decisions, appeals (representation), and correct benefits - contact us here