Universal Credit: Britons urged to check accounts – people receive £378 for Christmas
This Morning: Martin Lewis discusses Help to Save scheme
Universal Credit is designed to provide financial support to those who are out of work or who are on a low income. But this is not the end of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) work to help Britons financially. Many have been encouraged to open a Help to Save account, dedicated to those on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, to get on their feet.
The account allows people to receive a bonus of 50p from the government for every £1 they save over four years.
And because the account is backed by the government, all savings in the scheme are secure.
At a time where many people will be looking for additional funds, savers will be delighted to note that Help to Save bonuses are now being paid.
Over 60,000 Britons should have now received the first bonus payment from their Help to Save accounts, after beginning to put away funds two years ago.
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Under Help to Save, people get two tax-free bonuses over four years – one after two years, and the second as the final bonus.
Savers have now received more than £22.8million in Help to Save bonuses, according to the latest HMRC figures.
Savers who are in Greater London received the highest average bonus payment at £385.
This has been closely followed by savers who are in the East Midlands, with average bonus payments at £382.
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The North West has the highest number of savers who have paid into their accounts, and received their first bonus payment at 8,660.
The first bonus payments have been issued to those who created an account and began to save two years ago.
The bonus, instead of being paid into the Help to Save, will be directly routed into a person’s bank account.
As such, eligible Britons are encouraged to check if they have received the bonus to which they are entitled.
Once savers have received their first bonus, they can continue to use the secure savings account to get their final bonus at the four year mark.
Karl Khan, HMRC’s Interim Director General for Customer Services, commented on the matter.
He said: “Help to Save rewards regular savers and the bonus payments can make a big difference to individuals and families.
“We’ve tried to make it as easy as we can for people to check if they qualify. It only takes a few minutes online – just search ‘help to save’ on GOV.UK.”
People who have not yet opened a Help to Save account are strongly encouraged to do so.
This can be done by applying through the official government website, which redirects Universal Credit claimants to a dedicated portal.
Britons will need a Government Gateway user ID and password in order to apply.
They will also be asked to provide their UK bank details when applying for a Help to Save account.
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