Millions miss out on up to £22billion worth of DWP benefits - check if you're due £2,700

Couple at laptop

Millions miss out on up to £22.7bn worth of DWP benefits

Temi Laleye

By Temi Laleye

Published: 21/04/2024

- 16:33

Millions of people are missing out on thousands of pounds in unclaimed benefits and financial support this year

A total of £22.7billion in benefits and financial support is expected to go unclaimed in the UK this year, according to new research.

The average household could be £2,700 a year better off if they get all they are due, according to an analysis of official data by organisation Policy in Practice.

As the cost of living crisis continues, Britons are urged to check what benefits they may be entitled to.

With billions going unclaimed each year, individuals are missing out on a sizeable cash boost.

As benefits continue to increase each year, the amount that can be claimed goes up.

Since last year, an extra £4billion has gone unclaimed, primarily driven by the ongoing rollout of Universal Credit and refined Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates revealing lower benefit take-up than previously found.


Around 8.4 million people could be missing out on an average of £2,700


Around 8.4 million people could be missing out on an average of £2,700, which could have a "profound impact" on their lives.

The £23billion in unclaimed benefits includes more than £8billion Universal Credit, £3.4billion Council Tax Support, nearly £2.3billion Carer’s Allowance, more than £2billion Pension Credit and £1.7billion child benefit.

Deven Ghelani, founder and director of Policy in Practice, said: “This is not just about the money, it’s about the profound impact on people’s lives. Support from the social security system is a right.

“The failure to deliver support to people who are entitled to it directly affects education, health outcomes and social participation for millions of people. If we don’t address issues now for people in need we will just see costs further rising.

"We can’t afford not to close the unclaimed support gap.”

The social policy and analytics firm said money was going unclaimed because of a lack of awareness about available support, the complexity claimants face in navigating the system, and the stigma surrounding benefits.

Martin Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert founder posted some advice on X, formerly Twitter last week to tell people they should do a quick “scan” to see if they are eligible for financial help from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Lewis wrote: “There are up to £21million unclaimed benefits. Don't assume ‘it's not me’ (a few benefits aren't means tested).

“From UC to water bill support, council tax help to attendance allowance, its worth a few mins to scan if ur entitled to owt...”

It is a common misconception that people need to be out of work to claim benefits.

There is help available for those who are on low incomes, those with children, those who care for a relative, and those with health issues.

People can use free benefit calculators to check what they could be entitled to such as Policy in Practice benefits calculator, entitled to benefits calculator or the Turn2us benefits calculator.


The calculators should give people a rough idea of how much they're able to claim - however, they will then need to put in a claim for the relevant benefit themselves.

People can get help with a benefit claim by contacting Citizens Advice online, visiting their nearest Citizens Advice in person, or by calling its "Help to Claim" service on 0800 144 8 444.

You may like