benefits you can claim to help with the cost of living

This resource will tell you more about the benefits you may be eligible for and how to claim them.


As the cost-of-living crises continues, we are aware that increasing costs are being felt all over the country.

Some of these benefits can vary depending on what country you are in, or your local Council. We advise asking your local Council directly what supporting they can provide, as the local support offered can vary depending on where you live.

general benefits:

The main benefit that you may be eligible for is Universal Credit (UC). This is usually a monthly payment awarded to those on low income, out of work or unable to work.

Universal Credit is a little different in Northern Ireland and must be applied from Northern Ireland’s government website.
Universal Credit was created as a replacement for many of the previous benefits such as:

  • Housing benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support

This benefit is valid up until you are earning a certain amount or are of pensionable age. For further information on eligibility, we suggest you visit the government website which outlines the requirements.

the standard allowance:

The standard allowance is as follows:

  • If you are single and under 25 is £265.31 a month.
  • If you are 25 or over its £334.91.
  • If you live with your partner and you’re both under 25 it’s £416.45 (for you both).
  • If you live with your partner and either of you are 25 or over it’s £525.72 (for you both).

You can receive additional payments if you have children and again if those children have a disability.

You can also get an additional payment if you have a disability or health condition that limits your capability for work and work-related activity, or if you provide care for someone. To check your entitlements please see the turn2us benefits calculator.

Your payments may be reduced if the following apply:

  • You are paying back an advance on a Universal Credit payment
  • You have more than £6,000 in money, savings, and investments
  • You’ve been overpaid benefits in the past
  • You owe money for Council Tax, court fines, electricity, gas, water, or Child Maintenance
  • You pay your gas or electricity bill directly from your Universal Credit payment
  • You have a paid job
  • You have other income – for example, money from pensions or certain other benefits

personal independence payment (PIP):

This benefit is to help with the extra living costs if you have both:

  • A long-term physical or mental condition or disability
  • Difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will assess how difficult you find daily living and mobility tasks.

For more information about this, check out this resource created by Citizen’s Advice explaining how this payment works. For each task they’ll look at:

  • Whether you can do it safely
  • How long it takes you
  • How often your condition affects this activity
  • Whether you need help to do it, from a person or using extra equipment

If you live in Scotland you will need to apply for Adult Disability Payment instead, this is explained in more detail below.


From our research we know that up to 24% of young people identify as LGBTQ+. However, the government does not publish statistics on sexuality and gender identity across age and there are still significant issues with the quality of the data recorded. This means we have no accurate way of understanding the number of LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homeless today in 2023 and their housing outcomes.


Read our recommendations to policymakers in response to the cost of living crisis and view all of our Cost of Living support guides.