Universal Credit claimants may be able to get bank account boost worth hundreds

This Morning: Martin Lewis discusses Help to Save scheme

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This is via Help to Save, a type of savings account which is backed by the Government. As such, all savings in the scheme are secure.

This scheme allows certain people who are entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50 pence for every £1 they save over four years.

There are limits as to how much can be paid in during this time.

A person can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month.

However, that’s not to say money needs to be paid in every month.

Money can be paid into the account via debit card, standing order or bank transfer.

There’s no limit as to how many times money can be paid in – although it can’t exceed the maximum of £50 per calendar month.

After the second and fourth years, the bonuses will be paid. These will be based on how much has been saved.

After the first two years, the saver will get their first bonus, if they’ve been using the account to save that is.

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The bonus will be 50 percent of the highest balance they have saved.

Then, after four years, people who have continued to save will get a final bonus.

This is 50 percent of the difference between the highest balance saved in the first two years (years one and two) and the highest balance saved in the last two years (years three and four).

The most a person can save into the account is £50 per calendar month – so £2,400 over four years.

As such, the most that can be earned in Help to Save bonus money over the four years is £1,200.

The money is paid into a person’s bank account, rather than their Help to Save account.

It’s possible to open a Help to Save account if a person is any of the following:

  • Receiving Working Tax Credit
  • Entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Child Tax Credit
  • Claiming Universal Credit and the person (with their partner if it’s a joint claim) earned £604.56 or more from paid work in their last monthly assessment period.

People who get payments as a couple can both apply for their own Help to Save accounts, but they will need to apply separately.

Additionally, the person needs to be living in the UK.

That said, people who live overseas may be able to apply for an account if they’re either a:

  • Crown servant or their spouse or civil partner
  • Member of the British armed forces or their spouse or civil partner.

Should a person stop claiming benefits, then they can rest assured that they can continue to use the Help to Save account.

Savers may want to look into how saving money through a Help to Save account could affect their benefits – such as eligibility and how much they can get.

There’s more information on this on the Government website.

You can keep using your Help to Save account.

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