Whatever kind of benefit you are applying for there are certain rules you should follow.
What to do
- DO claim as soon as possible. It can take a while for your claim to be processed, so the sooner you apply the sooner you'll get your money. Some benefits are backdated, but others aren't and you could lose out on money that you are entitled to.
- DO take someone with you to your interviews if you need support.
- DO hand over your application in person and ask for a receipt.
- DO keep photocopies of your application in case it gets lost.
- DO keep a note of the name of the person you speak to, the date you spoke and what was said.
- DO tell them if your circumstances change in any way.
- DO take your national insurance number, proof of identity and proof of income when you apply.
What to avoid
- DON'T be afraid to ask for help. Staff at the Social Security Agency and Jobcentres are there to help you. You can also get advice from Citizens Advice Bureau.
- DON'T assume that you won't get a benefit. It's always worth getting advice.
- DON'T give up because the forms look complicated. An adviser in Citizens Advice Bureau can help you fill in the forms.
- DON'T be tempted to lie about anything on your form. If you are found out you will have to pay back any money that you have received that you were not entitled to. You could also be prosecuted if you deliberately lied to get a benefit.
Back to top