Universal Credit claims have soared over the last year, with the impacts of the pandemic being palpably felt. The Universal Credit sum, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is intended to provide support to individuals who are on a low income or out of work. To be eligible, one must usually be 18 or over, but under state pension age and resident in the UK.
They must also have less than £16,000 in savings between themselves and their partner to apply.
However, while the Universal Credit sum can be particularly important, many claimants are unaware they could potentially be eligible to receive an extra £1,200 payout.
This is achievable via the Help to Save scheme, which is backed by the Government and ensures all money put into the account is secure.
Each calendar month, Britons will be able to save between £1 and £50 to progress on their savings journey, but can choose when they wish to deposit a sum.
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The most a person will be able to save into the account over a four year period calculates as £2,400.
This, therefore, means the most which can be earned through a Help to Save bonus over the whole savings period is £1,200.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive, recently commented on the matter.
She said: “The Help to Save scheme has helped more than 264,000 individuals open a savings account.
“Regular savers can earn up to £1,2000 in bonus payments over four years. It is easy to set up an account, just search ‘help to save’ on GOV.UK.”
The Government has stated almost 217,000 individuals have made a deposit to their Help to Save account.
Of the individuals making a deposit, the average monthly saving per person is £48, as of January 31, 2021.
In the six month period from August 2020 to January 2021, total deposits to the scheme exceeded £40million.
This demonstrates the popularity of the scheme and the potential benefits it brings with it.
For Universal Credit claimants to be eligible, however, they must meet a certain set of criteria.
A person who is in receipt of Universal Credit must have earned £604.56 or more from paid work in their last monthly assessment period to be eligible.
This sum is the same for those who are receiving Universal Credit under a joint claim.
The Help to Save savings account can be opened at any time until September 2023.
The Government has confirmed the accounts are open for a four year period, during which deposits can be made at any time, bearing in mind the savings limit.
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