One year ago UK debt and budgeting help charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) launched a free benefits calculator on their website. New figures now launched by CAP reveal that, one year on, more than £90 million of unclaimed income has been found at a time when millions are struggling with the cost of living.
Over 150,000 individuals completed the online calculations
Almost 14,000 have found extra income
Average monthly amount found is £513
Nationally, it’s estimated £19 billion* of annual income is still not being claimed — many don’t know what they’re entitled to, others find the process of applying overly complex, and others can feel shut out through lack of digital access or local support. For those that are unaware of their entitlements, a simple and free, ten-minute benefits check could find someone vital extra regular income, through the calculator which has been provided in partnership with a fellow anti-poverty charity, Turn2Us.
CAP is urging people to visit capuk.org/calculator to see if they are entitled to more income just like Lisa, who used the calculator, did.
After using the benefits calculator Lisa found that, despite being in work, she was entitled to around £250 of benefits a month that she was previously missing out on:
“I am working, most of the time when you’re working you don’t get anything.” That is what I thought. But then I thought it’s only going to take a couple of minutes so just out of curiosity I did it.
Then I heard back and was told I would be entitled to around £250 extra a month! I went onto the Government website and filled in all the forms online and they told me I would be entitled to Universal Credit.
With the cost of living going up, it has made a huge difference. I can pay my bills. It has kept me out of debt. It has taken a lot of pressure off.
I was told I would be entitled to around £250 extra a month! With the cost of living going up, it has made a huge difference. It has taken a lot of pressure off.Lisa, benefits calculator user
As the Conservative Party conference gets underway in Manchester next week, CAP’s Director of External Affairs, Gareth McNab, will be calling on the UK Government to highlight the issue: “The benefits calculator on Christians Against Poverty’s website is an incredible, free tool that I’m very passionate about because it’s helping thousands of people to find millions of pounds of vital extra money at a time when prices are through the roof and many are struggling to cope with the ever increasing cost of living.
“It’s horrific to think that there is 19 billion pounds each year on a desk in Whitehall that should be in people’s pockets — there are no good reasons to withhold that vital support, and every effort should be being made to connect everyone with their entitlements.
“Ahead of Conservative party conference we are calling on the UK Government — and the devolved governments too — to prioritise helping those in poverty and on low incomes by launching an urgent awareness campaign to ensure people know about the money they’re entitled to. This will help relieve some of the financial pressure many are facing. There are exciting opportunities to match data across Government departments and with local authorities too, that could lead to much larger numbers of people getting support they sorely need.
“People in and out of work could be entitled to some form of benefits depending on their circumstances so it’s always worth checking.
“I’m urging everyone, please encourage your friends, family and check yourself to see if you’re entitled to some form of benefits by using the Turn2us benefits calculator at capuk.org/calculator.”
Notes for journalists
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01274 760801
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity working with over 800 affiliated churches to deliver debt help, budgeting guidance, support to find work, life skills groups and more. Visit capuk.org to find out more.
CAP is committed to its services being accessible and inclusive. We support people from all faiths. We do not discriminate by age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.