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Personal Finance: I’ve been made redundant and am living off savings, can I still get benefits?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:31 14 April 2020

Kelly-Anne Byres, director of KBL Accounts looks at whether those with savings can claim universal credit. Picture: KBL Accountants/Getty Images

Kelly-Anne Byres, director of KBL Accounts looks at whether those with savings can claim universal credit. Picture: KBL Accountants/Getty Images

KBL Accountants/Getty Images

Kelly-Anne Byres, director of KBL Accounts looks at what you are entitled to.

There will be lots of people who have found themselves having to understand and negotiate our benefits system in the last few weeks so you are not alone in needing a bit of guidance.

You are lucky to have a nest egg – especially right now.

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But I have good news for you – despite the fact you have savings, you can apply for Universal Credit too.

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Amid the current crisis, the government has increased the standard allowance of this benefit and removed the minimum income floor. As of April 6 if you’re single and 25 or over, you can get a monthly standard allowance of up to £409.89. Over a year, that’s £4,918 - up from £3,813.

You may get more or less than the standard allowance dependent on your earnings (and your partner’s if you live with them), whether you’ve got children, and other factors. One of these factors is the amount of savings you’ve got.

If you have savings of more than £6,000, you’ll get less universal credit, and if your household has got savings of £16,000 or over you won’t be eligible for universal credit at all.

Before you apply, there is one other option you should consider – and that’s approaching your former employer about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Before this support was announced, many people were made redundant by panicking firms. But they are allowed to take you back on and to furlough you instead. This would mean the government would pay 80% of your wage.

Of course, this is up to employers so sadly, there are no guarantees that you’ll be offered furlough retrospectively. But it’s worth exploring before going down the benefits route. 
Please note legislation is subject to change. This does not constitute investment advice and is for information purposes only.


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