Money Wellness
Image of a piggy bank with £10 going in. Find out if you're missing  out on benefit support/financial help. Millions missing out on money
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calendar icon22 Apr 2024

Thousands missing out on financial help

A staggering £22.7 billion goes unclaimed in the UK every year, according to a new report from Policy in Practice.

Its Missing Out report reveals that 8.4 million people could be missing out on £2,700 worth of support on average per year.

This is up by £4 billion on earlier estimates, which found £19 billion was going unclaimed.

Policy in Practice believes the increase has been caused by the uprating of benefits and the roll-out of universal credit.

The report found universal credit (£1.4 million) was the most underclaimed benefit, followed by child benefit (£838,291) pension credit (£807,704), carer’s allowance (£529,000).

Households are also missing out on locally administered benefits, such as £2.2 million worth of council tax support, housing benefits designed for pensioners, free school meals, and healthy start support.

As well as cheaper social tariffs for water, broadband, home and mobile phones, and TV licence and warm home discounts worth more than £8 million in total.

The overall figure of unclaimed support excludes disability benefits and discretionary support, both of which require a further assessment. If you include these elements, the amount going unclaimed is pushed to more than £30 billion.

Why are benefits going unclaimed?

According to Policy in Practice, there are three main reasons support is going unclaimed:

  • A lack of awareness about available benefits or misconceptions about eligibility
  • A complex system to navigate with multiple applications and complex eligibility criteria
  • The stigma attached to the benefits system and misleading narratives about claimants

How can I check if I’m missing out on benefit support?

Policy in Practice’s findings mirror what we see. We help hundreds of people every day achieve an uplift in financial support that they were previously missing out on.

It’s really simple to check what you should be claiming. Use our free online benefit calculator to see what support you’re entitled to.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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