The Benefits you can get will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are looking for work, you may be entitled to contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance or income based Jobseeker's Allowance. If you are sick or disabled you may be able to get Employment Support Allowance. If you are a lone parent or a carer, you may be entitled to Income Support.To claim telephone 0800 055 6688 (freephone number from a landline, calls can take up to 40 minutes if using a mobile request that they phone you back).

You may receive help with rent and Council Tax by applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Housing and council tax benefit calculator and forms are available to download from

www.stirling.gov.uk/services/housing/council-tax/council-tax-forms

If you have children you may be entitled to Child Tax Credit. If already in receipt of tax credits you should notify them that you are no longer working. To claim telephone 0845 300 3900.

If you own or are buying your own home and you receive Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit, you can be entitled to help with your housing costs, although this may not be immediately available.

Some benefits are contribution based which means that the amount and type of benefit you receive depends on how much, and what type of national insurance contributions you paid when you were working. Other benefits are means tested which means that an assessment will be made of what income, savings or capital you have.

If you are on benefit, tax credits or on a low income, you may be able to get help with other costs.

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are benefits which are paid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Child Tax Credit is available to people responsible for a child or young person, who have income below a certain amount. The amount you get will depend on how many children you have, and whether they have any disabilities. Child Tax Credit is available whether or not you are in work and is paid to the main carer in a household, usually straight into a nominated bank account.

Working Tax Credit is a payment to top up earnings of people working on low incomes, including those that do not have children. Extra amounts are payable if you have a disability, if you work 30 hours or more a week, and where you have childcare costs. Working Tax Credit is paid directly into a nominated bank account. Payments made for childcare costs are paid direct to the main carer.

Tax credits are usually paid for a year, from April to April, but the amount you get may change if your circumstances change during that year, for example, you have another child. If you are a member of a couple who live together, you must make a joint claim. You claim both Tax Credits on the same form. Claims can only be backdated one month, so you should claim as soon as you can.

To claim telephone : 0845 300 3900

If you have recently stopped work to have a child, and you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay from your employer, you may be entitled to Maternity Allowance. You can make a claim for Maternity Allowance after you have been pregnant for 26 weeks. You will need to provide a maternity certificate called a MAT B1. Your midwife or doctor can give you this certificate. Maternity Allowance is paid for 39 weeks. The earliest it can start is 11 weeks before your baby is born.

If you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance, and you have paid national insurance contributions, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for six weeks before the expected week of childbirth and up to 14 days after the birth.

If you qualify for Maternity Allowance, you may also be entitled to ESA from 11 weeks before the baby is born and up to 15 weeks afterwards. You can also get ESA if you are pregnant and there is a serious risk to your health or that of your child if you continue to work. If you or your partner are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related ESA, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit you may qualify for a maternity grant from the Social Fund. You can make a claim from the eleventh week before your baby is due and up to three months after the baby is born. The grant is currently £500 and is to provide clothes and equipment for a baby. It does not have to be repaid. You will need a healthcare professional to sign the form confirming that you have received health and welfare advice.

You may receive help with rent and Council Tax by applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Housing and council tax benefit calculator and forms are available to download from
http://www.stirling.gov.uk/services/housing/council-tax/council-tax-forms

You will also be entitled to Child Benefit once your child is born. This is not means tested and is paid in addition to any benefits you are receiving.

To claim telephone : 0845 302 1444

You may also be able to get Child Tax Credit (or more Child Tax Credit if you already get it) for your baby. If you are a lone parent and work 16 hours per week or if you are part of a couple and you and your partner work 24 hours between you, with one of you working at least 16 hours, you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit. Working Tax Credit can include help with childcare costs if you qualify.

To claim telephone : 0845 300 3900

If you or your partner are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related ESA or Child Tax Credit you may be entitled to free vitamins and vouchers to help with the cost of milk, fruit or vegetables. You can also get other health-care costs while you are pregnant and for the first year after you have given birth. A useful internet site for pregnancy and post pregnancy care is www.nhs.uk/Pregnancy which covers a number of topics.

Depending on your income and capital, you may be entitled to Pension Credit as well as your private pension or State Retirement Pension.

To claim telephone : 0845 60 60 265

You may receive help with rent and Council Tax by applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Housing and council tax benefit calculator and forms are available to download from
http://www.stirling.gov.uk/services/housing/council-tax/council-tax-forms

Most pensioners are entitled to Winter Fuel Payments automatically every year and pensioners on Pension Credit can claim Cold Weather Payments if it gets very cold.

If you are sick or disabled, you may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance.

To claim telephone : 0800 882 200

As a pensioner you may be entitled to free health costs. If you are 75 or over you can get a free television license by contacting TV licensing giving them your date of birth.

If you can't work because you are sick or disabled, you may qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You must earn a amount of money each week to qualify. If you earn less than this amount, or if you're self-employed, you can't get Statutory Sick Pay - you could claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) instead. Part-time workers, workers on a fixed-term contract and agency workers all qualify for SSP.

SSP is paid at a fixed rate. It is paid for up to 28 weeks. You may get more sick pay than this but it will depend on what your contract of employment says.

If your employment ends while you are on SSP, your sick pay will stop too. SSP does not stop if you go into hospital while you are off work.

When SSP runs out or you stop being employed, you may be able to claim another benefit called ESA. There are two parts of ESA – one, called contribution ESA, depends on your national insurance contributions and the other, called income-related ESA will be paid if your income and savings are low enough.
During the first 13 weeks of ESA, you will have to have a number of tests to find out whether you can work.

The amount of ESA you might get depends on your circumstances – for example, your age, your family circumstances, whether you have paid national insurance contributions and whether you are in the first 13 weeks of a claim.

You may receive help with rent and Council Tax by applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Housing and council tax benefit calculator and forms are available to download from :

http://www.stirling.gov.uk/services/housing/council-tax/council-tax-forms