Universal Credit seekers could get ‘freebies’ worth thousands in August – check now | Personal finance | Finance


The UK has seen a host of daily living costs rise in the first seven months of the year due to rising inflation. From the cost of food to prices at the pump to rising energy bills, families are facing a massive squeeze on their finances. However, those claiming Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Pension Credit have the option of claiming ‘freebies’ to help with the cost of the summer.

Parents demanding free school meals for their children have the option of signing up for holiday activities and the government food scheme during the summer months.

The programs offer activities and at least one meal a day for those who participate.

The scheme provides £200million in funding to 152 local councils over the next three years and is aimed at school-aged children from Reception to Year 11.

People can also claim money through their local council to help pay for food during the holidays. Usually parents can claim up to £90 per child during the summer holidays, but this can vary by region.

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The government’s Healthy Start Scheme can also help defray the cost of food by offering low-income parents pre-paid card payments of up to £442 a year to shop at major supermarkets.

What can be purchased with the card includes cow’s milk, fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, baby formula and fresh, dried and canned legumes.

Families may also be eligible for tax-exempt childcare or daycare fees during the summer months. However, the costs are prepaid and claimed.

Families could claim up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs up to £646 for one child or £1,108 for two or more until August 31 following the child’s 16th birthday.


People will also need to have already installed a water meter and will need to prove that they need to use a lot of water.

Other carriers that can be claimed include free or cheap broadband from TalkTalk, Virgin Media and BT, and a discount for BT phone calls.

Along with this, people on Universal Credit can claim free prescriptions, free dental care, free eye tests and discounted glasses as well as travel expenses for treatment.

Travel can also be claimed with those on Universal Credit able to claim half-price bus fares and reduced rail fares.

Announced in March this year, the government said households would receive a £150 rebate to help with energy costs. Although it was due to be paid in April, many are still waiting.

The government has given local authorities a September 30 deadline to issue the money. This means many could receive £150 over the summer months.

The majority of those who have not been paid are not paying council tax by direct debit and are encouraged to contact their local council to find out exactly how they can claim the money.

If people are looking for a job during the summer, they may qualify for the government’s Flexible Support Fund.

This is a pot that has been set aside to help cover the costs of getting a job and is managed by local job centres.

The money is used to cover job search costs and can be used to cover travel costs for an interview, job training, work tools, clothing and uniforms to start work.


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