In a bid to ease financial strain, the UK government offers Universal Credit (UC) to individuals and families facing economic hardships, aiding individuals and families with the cost of living, especially when facing lower income or unemployment.
The Universal Credit payment is designed to help cover essential living costs, but often, recipients find they need additional support for expenses like energy bills, health costs, upfront childcare costs, council tax, grants for home improvements and more.
This article explores the question, “What grants can I get on Universal Credit?” to offer insight into other financial relief available such as grants, free school meals, personal independence payment, and help with childcare costs for those who receive Universal Credit payments.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a benefit payment in the UK designed to assist individuals or families who are on a low income or out of work. It combines six former benefits, including:
- Housing Benefit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
The amount you receive depends on your individual circumstances, such as your income, how many children you have, and whether you have a disability. It’s intended to simplify the benefits system and provide a safety net for those who need financial support.
Between 2013 and 2017 Universal Credit replaces six means-tested working age benefits. Backed by a punitive system of tiered sanctions and fines, Universal Credit represents a major expansion and intensification of personalised behavioural conditionality and indicates the ubiquity of conditionality at the heart of twenty-first century UK social citizenship.
Dwyer, P., & Wright, S. (2014). Universal Credit, ubiquitous conditionality and its implications for social citizenship. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 22(1), 27-35. Retrieved Oct 9, 2023, from https://doi.org/10.1332/175982714X13875305151043
Types of Grants Available in 2023
Various grants are accessible to individuals who claim Universal Credit right now:
Heating Measures Grants
The ECO4 Scheme and the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) help people on Universal Credit get free insulation and heating upgrades. ECO4 makes homes more energy efficient through upgrading various heating measures, while the GBIS provides free insulation only, both helping to lower energy bills and make the cost of living more manageable.
Support with rent, mortgage interest, or home adaptations is available, along with council tax reduction from your local council, to reduce housing expenses during times of lowered income. You can apply for Affordable Homes here.
Education and Training Grants
Financial aid is provided for courses, training, or necessary educational materials through certain benefits, assisting in budgeting and saving on essential costs.
Assistance with childcare costs, including access to early education and tax-free childcare, enables parents to work or study, providing extra support for families.
Support for medical equipment, treatments, or disability adaptations is available, especially if you have a health condition. Additionally, cold weather payments may be provided by your energy supplier for added support during chilly periods.
Maternity grants, hardship payment, support allowance, legal costs assistance, and living payment are other forms of support that can be accessed during the last assessment period to ensure individuals and families receive the extra support needed. Support with rent, mortgage interest, or home adaptations, alongside council tax reduction to ease housing expenses.
Emergency Financial Aid Grants
One-off hardship payments for unexpected emergency household costs or travel costs, especially relevant during the first payment phase of Universal Credit. You can also find out weather you qualify for hardship grants for single mothers and fathers.
Other benefits like Pension Credit may also be available to provide further financial support.
Get a UK grant
Find out if you qualify for a free insulation and heating system grant
Homeowners & private tenants
Recipients of benefits
Save ££££ thousands of pounds on FREE insulation & heating installation
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* based on Energy Saving Trust
How to Apply for Grants?
3 Steps to ECO4 and the Great British Insulation Scheme:
If you receive Universal Credit payment and are a homeowner, chances are high you could qualify for the Great British Insulation Scheme or ECO4 grant. It’s simple to find out. Check below if you’re eligible.
If so, a UK Energy Support (UKES) energy advisor will contact you to schedule a survey. This survey ensures all OFGEM criteria are met before proceeding with the installation if you’re happy to proceed.
It’s a straightforward process designed to help you get the home improvements completed to reduce your household’s energy costs. With just a few clicks, you could get on the path to a warmer home and lower bills for power.
Find out if you’re eligible to receive the grant by clicking on the eligibility check button below
Our Energy Advisor books a no obligation survey followed by installation appointment if you qualify
After installation copletion you instantly start saving £££ while keeping your house warm and cosy throughout the year
Apply for Universal Credit
Gather necessary documents showcasing your eligibility. To apply for Universal Credit:
- Online Application on GOV.UK: How to claim Universal Credit
- Creating Account: Create an account online, complete your claim within 28 days of account creation.
- Partner Accounts: If living with a partner, both create accounts and link them during the claim.
- Offline Claim: If unable to claim online, use the Universal Credit helpline by calling 0800 328 5644 or visit a jobcentre.
- Essential Details: Provide bank details, email address, phone access, and identity proof (e.g., driving licence, passport).
- Additional Information: You will have to share housing, earnings, health conditions, childcare costs, and savings information.
- Identity Verification: May need an appointment for further verification or claimant commitment agreement before receiving the first payment.
Case Study 1: Embracing Warmth with UK Energy Support
Emily, a caring mother of two, struggled with chilly nights in her ageing home. A chat with a friend led her to a chance – a heating upgrade for families facing financial difficulties on Universal Credit living in a home with low EPC score (see EPC rating meaning). She visited UK Energy Support’s website, checked her eligibility, and soon got a call from a UKES advisor who reviewed her application.
A quick home visit by a surveyor confirmed her eligibility for an air source heat pump grant, solar panels, and free cavity wall insulation. Meeting all OFGEM requirements, Emily saw her home transform, all for free, right before winter’s chill set in. Now, with reduced utility bills, Emily finds she has enough money to cover her children’s dental treatment, enhancing their quality of life substantially.
Case Study 2: A Cosy Turnaround with Universal Credit Payment
The Cochrane family often bundled up indoors, their old insulation barely keeping the cold at bay. The Great British Insulation Scheme caught their ear in the BBC News, promising free insulation upgrades. When they reached out to us, UK Energy Support team helped them discover another boon – free storage heaters for Universal Credit recipients thanks to ECO4 that will allow them to save money.
Unaware of their eligibility for Universal Credit, the Cochranes applied and got approved. Now eligible for ECO4, they saw their home warm up with new insulation and best storage heaters. In addition a smart meter installation helped them keep their bills low. Now, with the help with gas and electric bills, the Cochranes have found it easier to manage essential costs for their dependent child and themselves, bringing a sense of financial stability they hadn’t experienced in a while.
We know navigating the cost of living while on a tight budget can be tough. Consulting experts like those at UKES is helpful when aiming to lower housing costs through energy efficiency improvements. With our experience we can guide on how you may be able to get the most from government grants to boost your EPC rating.
Take the Cochranes. We helped them discover they could get more than just insulation grants; they were also able to get a new heating system at no cost, leading to a warmer home and savings on household costs.
You may be able to claim more aid than you think!
This extra step could open doors to financial help, making it easier to pay essential bills. With the right help, you’re not just saving money but also learning how to manage energy usage better.
Universal Credit Grants Relief Rundown: Summing Up
Navigating through financial challenges is a common concern for many. The question, “What grants can I get on Universal Credit?” often arises. The answer lies in exploring and claiming the right grants. In addition you could get assistance like free school meals for your first child or a budgeting advance to manage unexpected expenses. Upon receiving Universal Credit, you may be able to get help with not only with grants but also upfront childcare costs, easing the daily financial burden.
The ECO4 and GBIS schemes provide funding for substantial upgrades to your home, aiming to enhance energy efficiency and reduce your living expenditure. By exploring these grants, you can take a step towards a more comfortable and financially manageable living situation.
So, take into account all available grants, understand what you can claim, and take a step towards easing the financial strain. The assistance is there; you just need to reach out and grab it.