Benefit claimants may be eligible for future savings windfall

Asia's Tech News Daily

Universal Credit is claimed by nearly six million people across the UK with a further estimated five million households receiving additional financial support through Working Tax Credits.

The Daily Record reports that now the furlough scheme has ended, many people are facing job uncertainty and may find themselves having to claim financial support through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help them with the cost of living.

But many on benefits are unaware of a scheme designed to help them by boosting their savings by 50% – but it’s not available to everyone.

What is Help to Save?

The Help to Save account is a scheme which thousands of people on a low income, or claiming certain benefits, could be eligible to join.

It is a state-operated scheme that allows people entitled to Working Tax Credits or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over a period of up to four years.

It is also possible to take the money out of the account, but the bonus payout is based on the highest amount of money you put in.

Even if you’re not able to set aside money for savings at the moment, open an account anyway, while you are eligible to do so, because you don’t have to put any money in.

How payments work

You can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month and you don’t have to pay in every month.

Payments can be made by debit card, standing order or bank transfer.

You can pay in as many times as you like, but the most you can pay in each calendar month is £50.

You can only withdraw money from your Help to Save account to your bank account.

How bonuses work

You get bonuses at the end of the second and fourth years. These are based on how much you have saved.

What happens after four years?

Your Help to Save account will close four years after you open it. You will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account.

You can close your account at any time. If you close your account early you will miss your next bonus and you will not be able to open another one.

Eligibility

You can open a Help to Save account if you are: receiving Working Tax Credit; entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Child Tax Credit; claiming Universal Credit and your household earned £604.56 or more from paid work in your last monthly assessment period; getting payments as a couple. You also need to be living in the UK.

Will it affect my benefit payments?

You can continue to receive Tax Credits or Universal Credit while saving with Help to Save.

What happens if I stop claiming benefits?

You can keep using your Help to Save account.

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