Grants and state benefits

If you're struggling to make ends meet check out what grants, loans or state benefits might be available to you and your family. You may be surprised at what financial help you can get.

So don't get into debt unnecessarily, stay MoneyFit and find out find out what you can claim.

Don't miss out

Many people are missing out on money because they don't know what they can claim. You can find out what your family is entitled to in just 20 minutes by using a range of tools online.  Service personnel and their dependants, as well as veterans, may be able to claim a range of benefits in the UK. These include:

Use a Benefits calculator

Find out what benefits you could claim using handy online tools on the Gov.uk or Turn2Us websites. You can see the benefits, tax credits and pension available and also compare estimates to see what you could get if your situation changes.

Other financial support

There is more financial support available not included in the benefits calculators. This tends to be more specialist assistance aimed at very specific groups of people. Use the list below to find out more and see if your family qualifies for any extra support. 

Interest-free loans in an emergency or to cover essentials

Budgeting loans – an interest-free loan for those receiving certain income-benefits who need help to pay for essentials like clothing, furniture or rent.

If you’re getting Universal Credit, you need to apply for a Budgeting Advance.  Find out more about Budgeting Advances on the Citizens Advice website.

Home and housing support

  • Support for Mortgage Interest – for those receiving certain income-benefits who are struggling to keep up with the interest on their mortgage. From April 2018 if you make a claim for SMI, payments will be made as a loan. You will have to repay the loan either when you sell your house or voluntarily when you’re able to (for example when you return to work).
  • Energy-efficiency grants - If you want to make some changes to your home to cut your power bills, go green and reduce the amount of energy you use. You could get help towards the costs.
  • Heating help - Get insulation and heating improvements to help make your home more energy efficient. Find out about the different schemes in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.
  • Water bills - Watersure is a scheme which helps some people with their water bills. To apply for the scheme, you must be on benefits and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children. You also need to be on a water meter or be waiting to have one installed.

If you're expecting or bringing up children  

If you're ill, injured or disabled

  • Medical costs for war pensioners - If you need medical treatment because you were disabled while serving in the Armed Forces, you could get help towards your medical costs.
  • War Disablement Pension - If you were injured or disabled while serving in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005 you can get extra help towards your pension.
  • Health costs - You may qualify for help towards some NHS charges if you're on income support.
  • Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme - You may qualify for assistance towards the cost of transport if you're on income support and need to travel to get medical treatment.
  • Disabled Facilities Grant - If you're disabled you may be able to get money towards the cost of adapting your home for your needs. 
  • Blue Badge Parking Scheme - If you're registered as disabled you could apply for a badge allowing you to park closer to where you need to be. 
  • Free bus travel (Wales) - Seriously injured Service personnel and serious injured veterans are entitled to free local bus travel in Wales.
  • Reduced Earnings Allowance - If your earning potential is reduced because of a disability you may be entitled to extra help.

Other financial help

  • Funeral Payment - If you're on a low income you could get help towards the costs of arranging a funeral.
  • Home Responsibilities Protection - If you or your partner were caring for someone before April 2010 and therefore were unable to work, Home Responsibilities Protection reduced the number of years of National Insurance contributions needed to qualify for a full state pension. This has now been replaced with National Insurance credits for parents and carers.

Where to get free help and advice about your entitlements

If you're unsure about what benefits you are entitled to or would like help with working out how to claim, speak to  The Royal British Legion, your local Citizens Advice Bureau, or one of the many Service charities - see Other Service Organisations on the Legion's Knowledgebase.

Last reviewed: 22/01/2019