Millions of people on Universal Credit eligible for £1,200 bonus help to save scheme


Millions of people on Universal Credit could be eligible for a significant bonus of £1,200.

There are millions of Brits on the scheme and it is a vital lifeline for those that use it. Any extra income will be a welcome relief amid a cost of living squeeze.

Energy bills, taxes and the prices of day-to-day products are all on the rise and will impact the pockets of Brits up and down the country.

Some may be forced to choose between things like food and medicine if they do not do so already, and are looking for extra income to help – the Help to Save scheme may provide just that.

The same scheme has been recommended by Martin Lewis and the team.

Woman checking her bills
To apply you must be claiming Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit

So who is eligible for the £1,200 and how can people get it?

What is the Help to Save scheme?

Universal Credit sign in a Job Centre in Westminster
People on the Universal Credit scheme may well be eligible

The Help to Save scheme is designed to help low-income people to save in a way that is backed by the government.

A 50p bonus is paid on every £1 a person saves in their account over the course of four years and there is a maximum of £1,200.

People can save between £1 and £50 every single month, but people do not have to pay in money each month. Money can be paid into the account via debit card, bank transfer or standing order.

The government explained: “You can pay in as many times as you like, but the most you can pay in each calendar month is £50. For example, if you have saved £50 by January 8 you will not be able to pay in again until February 2.”

The savings are secure as the scheme is government-backed.

After four years, the account will close and the person who holds the account will be able to keep all of the money saved.

However, it may not be the right way to pursue savings for someone who is struggling and in debt.

Money Saving Expert said: “If you’ve debt problems, whether you’re struggling to meet minimum repayments, you owe more than you earn in a year or it’s affecting your ability to sleep at night, Help to Save isn’t going to be the right answer.”

Who is eligible for the Help to Save scheme?

The government offers a Help to Save scheme for Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants.

Claimants are eligible if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Receiving Working Tax Credit
  • Entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Child Tax Credit
  • Claiming Universal Credit and you (with your partner if it’s a joint claim) earned £617.73 or more from paid work in your last monthly assessment period

Couples need to apply separately for an account and people need to be living in the UK.

Those overseas must be:

  • A crown servant or their spouse or civil partner
  • A member of the British armed forces or their spouse or civil partner.

Those looking to apply can do so here.

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