Nearly £19 billion of benefit support goes unclaimed each year

New analysis created by social policy company Policy in Practice has uncovered that £18.7 billion of support goes unclaimed each year. 

The report estimates that £7.5bn of Universal Credit is unclaimed by 1.2 million eligible households as well as also found that £2.9bn of Council Tax Support is unclaimed by over 2.7 million eligible households each year.

Many of these benefits go unclaimed because of administrative complexity and a lack of awareness among potential claimants that they are eligible for support. The process that needs to be undertaken in order to receive support is complex – multiple applications mechanisms, administrative organisations and eligibility criteria. This all creates a barrier for many people who are trying to navigate the system and access support.

Maximising income through the take up of benefits is essential to support households during the cost of living crisis and prevent further financial crises.

Going digital to support claimants to maximise their income amidst cost of living

It is crucial that people are protected by the increase in the cost of living. Many individuals are not aware that they are able to receive support – local authorities can make a real difference to those people by focusing on income maximisation in order to support people to get the help they are entitled to.

BetterOff is a benefits and employment platform used by local authorities across the country. The platform empowers claimants to self-serve their applications by creating a personalised list of relevant forms and processes, based on the information that they have provided. This personalised list of forms ensures that claimants are applying for the correct support and in doing so, maximise their income as much as possible.

Conscious of the complexity of standard forms, BetterOff was developed with significant amounts of advice and guidance throughout the digital forms, written by benefit experts, to ensure successful outcomes. This creates significant savings on advice provision, without affecting service outcomes.

Results from Kirklees Council
£19 billion of benefit support goes unclaimed each year - Income Maximisation results from Kirklees Council