Surviving on Benefits: How to Cope in Uncertain Financial Times

| January 29, 2014

red boxThe recently aired television show ‘Benefits Street’ has caused uproar in contemporary Britain, ironically across both sides of the cultural and social divide. The so-called benefits culture in the UK remains a source of huge controversy, although this often does a huge disservice to unfortunate individuals who are forced to rely in welfare having previously contributed significantly to public funds. For those who genuinely want to work but have fallen on hard times, surviving on welfare can be challenging on multiple levels.

How to Survive on Benefits: Coping in Uncertain Financial Times

With this in mind, what steps can you take to remain proactive while on benefits and survive in an unstable economic climate? Consider the following: –

Ignore the Perceived Stigma of Claiming Benefits

One of the issues with the promotion of welfare culture in the UK is that it casts all claimants in a negative light. This is grossly unfair, and if you are in a position where you need to claim benefits it is important to quickly overcome the perceived stigma associated with the process. Above all else, keep in mind that the benefits system was developed to help hard-working and honest citizens who have fallen on hard times, whether due to an unforeseen accident or a sudden economic decline. If these circumstances apply to you and you have a proud history of working, there is no need to feel shame when making a welfare application.

Discover what Benefits you are Entitled to

Every claimants individual circumstances are different, so as a starting point it is crucial that you are able to determine your exact entitlement. This is especially true if you have predominantly worked throughout your life and are new to the system, as claiming welfare in the UK can be a time-consuming and relatively complex process. Depending on your exact circumstances, living arrangements and your previous working history, you will be able to claim an amalgamation of several benefits that create a single stream of income to support your lifestyle.

Calculate your Precise Monthly Income

While you are following the process of determining your exact entitlement, you should also look to calculate the cumulative total that you will be paid in the way of benefits. This will help you to create a proactive and realistic budget, which in turn will enable you to cope financially until you are back in employment. One stop resources such as DSS Move boast specific tools that allow you to estimate the amount that you could claim in housing benefit, for example, while also identifying how many bedrooms you are entitled to tax-free in your existing circumstances.


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Category: Family Finances

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