The £20 cut to universal credit due this month is predicted to hit people around the UK very hard this winter, according to critics. 

In 2020, Rishi Sunak announced a £20-per week hike in UC payments in response to the pandemic, however the Chancellor has confirmed the end to this increase despite calls from MPs to make it permanent. 

The £20 extra per week has been described as a "lifeline" by many, with the scheduled cuts drawing criticism and warnings of a "very difficult winter" for millions of people who receive UC.

As the scheme comes to an end, here are some of the other benefits you may be entitled to.

Here are the UK-wide Government benefits you might be entitled to 

As the £20-weekly increase to universal credit comes to an end, here are some of the other benefits you may be entitled to: 

Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)

To be eligible for jobseekers allowance, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • not be working at the moment, or be working less than 16 hours per week on average
  • have worked as an employee in the past
  • have paid Class 1 National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years
  • not be in full-time education
  • be available for work
  • not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
  • have the right to work in UK
  • be taking "reasonable steps" to look for work

The JSA is usually payable for up to six months.

You can find out more here.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

This payment applies to people who have a disability or health condition which impacts how much they can work. 

It can be paid at the same time as UC but not at the same time as JSA.  

To be eligible, you must: 

  • have worked as an employee or have been self-employed
  • have paid enough National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years
  • be under state pension age

You can find out more here.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

This is a new scheme available from October 18 2021. 

The scheme offers a one off £140 discount on your electricity bill between October and March. 

You will qualify for the scheme is you are:

  • part of the 'core' group (if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit)
  • part of the 'broader' group (you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme)

More information on the scheme can be found here

Winter fuel payment

This is payable to pensioners born before September 26, 1955 who get the State Pension and get another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit). 

Payments of between £100 and £300 can be made to those eligible to help with heating costs over the winter. 

You can find out more here

Housing Benefit

The housing benefit is only available to those who have reached state pension age or live in supported, sheltered or temporary housing. 

You can find out more here.

Here are the Scotland specific benefits you may be eligible for

Discretionary Housing Payment

You might be eligible for the Discretionary Housing Payment if you: 

  • claim Housing Benefit but it doesn't cover all your rent
  • claim Universal Credit but still can't afford your housing costs
  • need help with removal costs
  • need help with a rent deposit

Your local council is responsible for deciding if you will receive a Discretionary Housing Payment. 

You can find out more here.

Warmer Homes Scotland

This scheme aims to make people's homes warmer and cost less to heat by providing help such as: 

  • wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • draught-proofing
  • boilers and heating
  • renewable and micro-renewable heating system

You might be eligible for help if you're struggling to heat your home and you:

  • are a homeowner or private tenant
  • have also lived in the property for at least 12 months

You can find out more here.

Child Winter Heating Assistance

This payment of up to £200 is available to children and young people up to 18 who:

  • get the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
  • be resident in Scotland

You can find out more here.