I am not in full-time work, but manage to work around 16 hours a week, earning around £90 a week. I am struggling to pay my mortgage and council tax, which add up to £500 a month. I live alone. Can I claim any benefits?
You may be eligible for Universal Credit (UC) if it is being rolled out in your area for single working claimants. UC is replacing six existing benefits (Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit). This benefit may include amounts towards your mortgage interest, but only when you are not working.
If you cannot claim UC, you may be able to claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), which can include Support for Mortgage Interest. These are payments made towards the interest on your mortgage, not the capital. You would only qualify for JSA if you are working less than 16 hours a week, you are available for and willing to work more, and you are actively taking steps to find
Council tax support is available for people who need assistance to pay their council tax bill. The amount of council tax support you are entitled to depends on the scheme in your area. Most local schemes limit the amount of council tax support for people of working age to 80% of their council tax bill, so it is likely that even if you receive the maximum award of council tax support, you would still have to pay 20% of your council tax bill.
You can check how much you may be entitled to using the free Turn2us Benefits Calculator.
Also visit the Apply for Universal Credit page on the government website to check whether UC is available in your area.