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9 Welfare benefits

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1. Introduction

2. Who can claim benefits?
Most people in the UK are likely to qualify for some kind of welfare benefit or tax credit at one time or other, but many of them miss out because they don’t know what they can claim.

If you have come from another country to live here, you may not be able to claim all of these benefits, depending on your immigration status and your circumstances.

What types of benefit might I be able to claim?
Here we explain the different types of benefits and tax credits, and how you can work out whether you may get them. Benefits and tax credits are to support people in need. There are different types of benefit for different types of need. If you think you may be able to get any of the benefits described, you can get more detailed leaflets from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), explaining:

  • how they work;
  • whether you qualify; and
  • how much they are worth.

For information about how to claim benefits mentioned in this leaflet, see ‘Where do I claim?’.

3. If you have a low income

4. If you are having a baby or adopting a child

5. If you have children to look after

6. If you are unemployed

7. If you are ill and can´t work

8. If you have a disability

9. If you are just starting work

10. If you have retired or are about to retire

11. If your husband, wife or civil partner dies

12. Where do I claim?

13. What must I do when I claim?

14. What if I disagree with a decision about my claim?

15. What if I´ve been badly treated?

16. The Human Rights Act

17. Further help

18. About this leaflet


This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Rachel Hadwen, a specialist in welfare rights.

Leaflet Version: June 2008