18 Apr 2024 | Posted In Money advice news

Policy in Practice’s latest report entitled ‘Missing out 2024′ estimates that the total amount of unclaimed income related benefits and social tariffs is now £22.7 billion a year.

The report’s key points are:

  • Over eight million people could be missing out on an average of £2,700 per year in rights based benefits.
  • This is an increase of £4 billion on last year’s report where we found that £19 billion was going unclaimed. The increase is caused by the uprating of benefits, the rollout of Universal Credit and newly released DWP figures.
  • The overall figure of unclaimed support excludes disability benefits and discretionary support, both of which require a further assessment. Including these elements pushes the true level of unclaimed support to over £30 billion.

Policy in Practice believes this is a solvable problem and is calling on government to do more to make accessing our social safety net easier, more proactive, less harmful, less shameful, and less complex. They argue that lifting people out of poverty improves their health, relationships, education attainment, diets, and life expectancy, and reduces the need for crisis intervention, contributing to lower demands on public services. Better use of data, shared between central and local government, proactive awards, and joined up application processes, as well as listening to people navigating the system is highlighted as part of the solution.

Since Policy in Practice launched its Missing Out analysis in 2023, 270,000 households are better off by £260 million a year, as a direct result of its work with partners using the LIFT platform. Organisations that use its Better Off Calculator have helped over half a million people to claim nearly half a billion pounds a year. Every day around 10,000 people use the Better Off Calculator through Policy in Practice clients or via GOV.UK to check their eligibility for benefits.

Read more and download the report.