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A-Z of Benefits

The following are a brief description of most common benefits available during 2015/16. The list is NOT an authorative statement of law and is intended as a guide only. Note that the Social Security System is complex and liable to change on a regular basis. This is particularly so during the current period of Welfare Reform.

Over the next few years we will see Universal Credit replace most of Income Support, Child / Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, income-based (not contribution-based) Jobseekers / Employment & Support Allowances. There are also going to be changes to payments for pensioners from 2016.

Disability Living Allowance, for most people, started to be replaced with Personal Independence Payment from June 2013. Employment and Support Allowance (paid on the basis of having paid sufficient National Insurance Contributions) is now time – limited to a maximum of 12 months for most claimants.

Social Fund payments, such as Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants, have been replaced by the Discretionary Assistance Fund.


Please link on the appropriate letter as above and a list of all benefits beginning with that letter will appear.


Attendance Allowance
What is it? Social Security Benefit paid to people aged 65+ who have care needs.
How much is it? £55.10 (lower)
£82.30 (higher)
Claiming Form AA1. Tel: 0345 605 6055


See Department for Work & Pensions website www.dwp.gov.uk or contact Wrexham County Borough Council Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 298255.
Bereavement Benefits
What is it? Social Security Benefits paid to the bereaved replaced Widows Benefit from 2001 onwards.
How much is it? Bereavement Payment: £2,000
Widowed Parents Allowance: £112.55 (basic)
Bereavement Allowance: £112.55 (full rate)
Claiming Form BB1 / Tel: 0845 6060265


Carers Allowance (formerly know as Invalid Care Allowance)
What is it? Benefit for carers who look after someone in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance Middle or Higher rate care component or Personal Independence Payment (daily living component).
How much is it? £62.10
Claiming DS700 / Tel: 0345 608 4321

Note: Claiming this benefit can sometimes affect the payments of the person you care for. Take advice before claiming. Also, a claim for this benefit can entitle people to, or increase their payment of, Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Universal Credit.

Child Benefit
What is it? Payment for people with care of child(ren).
How much is it? £20.70 first child
£13.70 other children
Claiming Tel: 0300 200 3100
Child Tax Credit
What is it? Payment for families with children. Administered by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and replaces previous payments for children made with Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Working Families and Disabled Persons Tax Credits.
How much is it?

Amounts vary. Payments are described annually:

£2,780 = child element
£3,140 = disabled child element
£1,275 = severely disabled child element
£545 = family element
Claiming Tel: 0345 300 3900
Cold Weather Payments
What is it? Payment made to certain people when a defined period of 'cold weather' occurs.
How much is it? £25.00 per week
Claiming Department for Work & Pensions should automatically pay it. See Department for Work & Pensions website or contact Wrexham County Borough Council Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 298255.
Community Care Grant
See Discretionary Assistance Fund
Council Tax Support
What is it? Reduction for people liable to pay Council Tax and have a low income. Replaces Council Tax Benefit from April 2013.
How much is it? depends - there is a means-tested 'sliding scale' calculation. Those in receipt of Income Support and income-based Jobseekers Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance or guarantee element of Pension Credit will usually receive full Council Tax Support.
Claiming Contact Wrexham Council Finance Department on 01978 292032 or, if claiming Income Support etc complete HB1 form in the claim pack.
Crisis Loan
See Discretionary Assistance Fund


Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
What is it? Non means-tested benefit for people with a disability, aged under 65 with mobility and/or care needs.
How much is it?

Low rate: £21.80
High rate: £57.45

Low rate: £21.80
Middle rate: £55.10
High rate: £82.30

Claiming No new claims can now be made, other than for children up to aged 16. Claims for children phone: 0345 712 3456

Note: If you think you may qualify for this benefit, submit a claim. A successful claim will NOT affect any other income adversely. If already in receipt of some part of DLA and you believe you may be entitled to a higher amount DO NOT submit a further claim without first taking advice from the Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 298255. This benefit is now being gradually be replaced by PIP for people aged 16-64 only.

Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF)
What is it? This is the scheme in Wales that replaced some Social Fund payments (e.g. Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants). It is a grant-based scheme so any award made does not have to be paid back. Applications have to be made by post, telephone or on-line and cannot be made in person. It is overseen by the Welsh Government.
How much is it? Depends. Some payments are made by voucher or paid to a bank account or via Pay Point.
Claiming Telephone: 0800 859 5924 (free from landlines)
Or 033 0101 5000 (Charged at local rate)

Online: https://www.northgate-nes.co.uk/pls/pwswall/call_initial_apex_page.nes_selfsrv?service=NSF&la=WALES

By Post:
Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) Wales
PO Box 2377
LL11 0LG

Postal application forms can be found at


Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
What is it? Paid to those deemed to have limited capability for work. Similar to Jobseekers Allowance, ESA has two components: a contributory and an income-related element. Similar to the benefit it replaced (Incapacity Benefit), claimants will be medically assessed to determine what work-related activity/tasks they may or may not be capable of. This will result in a points ‘score’ which the claimant needs to reach in order to receive payment.
How much is it?

Assessment Phase payment (age over 25) £73.10
Work-related activity component £29.05
Support component £36.20

Claiming ESA pack from DWP. Tel : 0800 0556688
Note: Unless claimant is in the ‘support’ group then the contributory part of this benefit only paid for a maximum of 12 months.


Family Credit
See Tax Credits
Funeral Payments
See Social Fund


Guardians Allowance
What is it? Benefit paid to people looking after children in place of parent(s).
How much is it? £16.55 per qualifying child
Claiming Tel : 0300 200 3101


Health Benefits
Health care is generally provided free by the NHS. There are, however, fixed charges for some items and services (dental treatment, sight tests, glasses, etc). Some exemptions apply to those in receipt of certain benefits and in certain situations, eg residents of care homes, asylum seekers, hospital in-patients.  Prescriptions are generally free in Wales but only in limited cases in England.
Housing Benefit
What is it? See Housing Benefit. Benefit paid to people liable to pay rent (NOT a mortgage) and have a low income.
How much is it? depends - there is a means-tested 'sliding scale' calculation. Those in receipt of Income Support and income-based Jobseekers Allowance or guarantee element of Pension Credit will usually receive full Housing Benefit. See New or Potential Claimants information.
Claiming Contact Wrexham Council Housing Benefit Department on 01978 292032 or, if claiming Income Support, etc, complete HTCB1 form in the claim pack.

Note: From April 2008, if renting from a private landlord, benefit will be known as Local Housing Allowance. Housing payments will gradually start to be paid as part of the new ‘Universal Credit’ from April 2015.


Incapacity Benefit (formerly known as Invalidity Benefit and Sickness Benefit)
What is it? Benefit paid to people who are incapable of work and satisfy national insurance contribution conditions or become incapable of work in youth.
How much is it? There are various rates depending on your age, length of time deemed incapable of work and whether a claim includes dependants.
Claiming N/A

Note: This benefit was abolished for new claimants in October 2008 and replaced by “Employment and Support Allowance”. Those still receiving Incapacity Benefit are gradually being migrated on to the new benefit.

Income Support
What is it? A means-tested benefit for people on low income. Depending on a claimant's given situation, the government will 'top-up' a persons level of income to a pre-set amount.
How much is it? depends, please contact the Welfare Rights Unit for details on 01978 298254.
Claiming A1 (under pension age).Tel: 01978 298255. For those over pension age, see Pension Credits.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
What is it? Benefit paid to people who have become disabled due to accident / disease caused by employment.
How much is it? depends on extent of assessed disability (minimum = £33.60 maximum = £168.00 for over 18s)
Claiming Tel : 0800 7585433
Invalid Care Allowance
See Carers Allowance
Invalidity Benefit
See Incapacity Benefit


Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) (formerly known as Unemployment Benefit)
What is it? Benefit for those who are unemployed (or work less than 16 hours a week but are seeking full-time work). There are two types of JSA: one relies on a National Insurance contribution record, and the other works on a means-tested system similar to Income Support.
How much is it? £73.10 (for over 25s and satisfy National Insurance conditions). For income-based JSA the amounts vary, similar to Income Support and Employment & Support Allowance.
Claiming Jobseekers pack from Jobcentres only. Tel : 0800 0556688


Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
What is it? New name for Housing Benefit for those renting in the private sector.
How much is it? see Local Housing Allowance Rates
Claiming Contact Wrexham Council Housing Benefit Department on 01978 292033 or if claiming Income Support etc complete HTCB1 form in the claim pack.


Maternity (and Paternity) Benefits
What is it? Various benefits / payments including Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay and Maternity Allowance. Each are time limited, some are paid by an employer, some by Department for Work and Pensions.
How much is it? Various amounts. Check with the Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 298255.
Claiming Through employer, Department for Work & Pensions or HMRC. Check with the Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 298255 to see which applies to you.
Mobility Allowance
See Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independent Payment


National Insurance Contributions
Some benefits can only be paid if National Insurance contribution record is sufficient. These are mainly paid through the course of employment (employed or self-employed) although sometimes voluntary contributions can also be made.
National Insurance Credits
You can sometimes be ‘credited’ with National Insurance contributions, by paying them yourself or via certain benefit payments you receive (e.g. Carers Allowance). The reasons for when you may need to consider adding more credits to the National Insurance fund are many and varied – contact us or the Department for Work & Pensions for more information on this.
National Insurance Number (NI No)
To claim benefits a person must either have a NI No or provide sufficient information to have one allocated. Until a number is allocated, benefit is not paid. This is particularly important for those people coming from abroad who may be entitled to benefits (refugees etc).


Paternity Benefits
See Maternity Benefits
Pension Credit
What is it? A means-tested benefit for people over pension age. For people over 65, a ‘savings’ credit can also apply. It is a government reward to those who have been able to, or chosen to, plan for retirement by saving or paying into a pension scheme. Operates in a similar way to Income Support.
How much is it? depends - check with the Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 298255.
Claiming PC1 or Tel : 0800 991 234

Note: If already in receipt of Income Support you should not need to make a new claim for Pension Credit; you should automatically be passported to it when reaching pension age.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
What is it? Non-means tested benefit for people aged 16 – 64 with a disability who have mobility and/or care needs.

From June 2013 it is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age. For further detail see www.gov.uk/pip and/or contact Welfare Rights on 01978 298255.
How much is it? Daily Living Component:
Standard rate = £55.10
Enhanced rate = £82.30

Mobility Component:
Standard rate = £21.80
Enhanced rate = £57.45
Claiming If you currently receive DLA the DWP will contact you about moving on to PIP in due course.

For new claims, you need to phone DWP on: 0800 917 2222 textphone 0800 917 7777 or see DWP/PIP website page as above.


Retirement Pension
See State Retirement Pension


Severe Disablement Allowance
(this benefit was abolished for NEW claimants in April 2001)
What is it? Benefit for people incapable of work who did not satisfy the National Insurance Contribution record for the old Incapacity Benefit. Those in receipt of Severe Disablement Allowance prior to April 2001 continue to receive it if still deemed incapable of work.
How much is it? £74.65 (basic amount)
Claiming N/A
Sickness Benefit
See Employment and Support Allowance.
Social Fund
What is it? The regulated social fund covers maternity grants, funeral payments, cold weather and winter fuel payments. The discretionary social fund covered community care grants, budgeting loans and crisis loans but these are now mainly replaced by Discretionary Assistance Fund. Various conditions have to be satisfied depending on what type of payment is claimed.
How much is it? Varies

Regulated Fund
Maternity Grant SF100
Funeral Payment SF200
Winter Fuel & Cold Weather Payment automatically paid

Discretionary Assistance Fund

(See relevant section)
State Retirement Pension
What is it? Payment for those of retirement age who have paid National Insurance contributions during periods of their working life.
How much is it? £115.95 (basic amount for Category A pension for a single person)
Claiming Form BR19 (usually sent to you about 4 months before reaching pension age).

Note: Pension ages are going up! Since April 2010, some people are not deemed to be of retirement age until they are 61 or more (women) or 66 or more (men). Contact us for more details.

Statutory Maternity / Paternity Pay
see Maternity / Paternity Benefits
Statutory Sick Pay
What is it? Benefit paid to employees if incapable of work for up to 28 weeks. Not paid to the unemployed or self-employed. It is paid and administered by your employer.
How much is it? £88.45 per week (more may be paid as contractual sick pay if agreed with employer in contract of employment).
Claiming Inform your employer.


Tax Credits
What is it?

Means-tested top-up payments administered by Her Majesties Revenues & Customs (HMRC) and replace Working Families Tax Credit, Disabled Persons Tax Credit, certain elements of Income Support and income-based Jobseekers Allowance and Family Credits.

The two main elements are:

1. Child Tax Credit (CTC)
2. Working Tax Credit (WTC)

1. for low / middle-income families, working or not, who have responsibility for at least one child.

2. an income-based payment for working adults.

How much is it? variable, depending on income. Payments are annualised (as opposed to all other benefits which are calculated on a daily or weekly basis). You can receive both CTC and WTC at the same time.
Claiming Tel : 0345 300 3900


Unemployment Benefit
See Jobseekers Allowance
Universal Credit
What is it? What is it?  Gradually, through 2015 to 2018, most means-tested benefits will be replaced by Universal Credit. For more information see www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform/universal-credit/ or contact Welfare Rights on 01978 298255.
How much is it?

Standard Allowances (Monthly Figures)


Under 25 = £251.77
25+ = £317.82


Both under 25 = £395.20
One or both aged 25+ = £498.89

Child Elements

Only / Eldest Child = £277.08
Other Children = £231.67

Disabled Child Elements

Lower Rate = £126.11
Higher Rate = £367.92

Limited Capability Elements

For Work = £126.11
For Work and Work-related Activity = £315.60

Carer Element

Childcare costs elements (maximum)

1 Child = £532.29
2+ Children = £912.50

Claiming: online at www.gov.uk/universalcredit


Widows Payments / Benefits
See Bereavement Benefits
Winter Fuel Payments
See Social Fund
Working Families Tax Credit
See Tax Credits
Working Tax Credit (WTC)
What is it? Payment paid to those in low paid work, whether or not responsible for children.
How much is it? (Annual Rates)

Basic Element = £1,960
Couple Element = £2,010
Lone Parent Element = £2,010
30 Hour Element = £810
Disability Element = £2,970
Childcare Element = £175 - £300 (Week)

Claiming: Tel 0345 300 3900

Other Payments
When moving off benefits and into work, the Government may pay you certain extra amounts, depending on the benefit you have been claiming and for how long. These payments include Mortgage Interest run-on, extended payment of housing and council tax benefit, job grant, Access to work fund, Adviser Discretion Fund, return-to work credit and in-work credit. Ask us for more details of these payments if you are considering going into work.