Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis said millions of people across the UK are missing out on a share of £19 billion in unclaimed benefits. 

Some people could see themselves earning payments worth an extra £9,600 a year according to Mr Lewis.

He said: "We've long urged you to check to make sure you get all the benefits you're entitled to, knowing millions were due a share of billions.

"Now a new report from think tank Policy in Practice details the exact scale... as much as £19 BILLION in support is unclaimed EVERY YEAR.

"And many most in need of help, often having long paid into the system, are missing out."

News Shopper: Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says millions of people across the UK are missing out on a share in billions of pounds.Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says millions of people across the UK are missing out on a share in billions of pounds. (Image: PA)

From Universal Credit payments to broadband and water social tariffs here are the ways you can claim your share in £19 billion of unclaimed benefits.

Universal Credit

Mr Lewis said that around 1.25 million people across the UK miss out on an average £9,600 a year.

When it comes to Universal Credit he said the thing to consider is all monthly benefits are to support people with living and housing costs. 

Who's missing out? 

Mr Lewis said: "Households with lower incomes, or up to roughly £40,000 a year if you've kids, high childcare costs and rent.

"If you've checked before, check again as Universal Credit rates went up in April."

Council Tax Support

Up to 3 million people miss out on more than £1,000 a year according to Mr Lewis.

He said: "Every council runs its own scheme, so what you get depends on where you live, but it can cut your council tax bill by up to 100%. 

Who's missing out? 

If you qualify for means-tested benefits like Universal Credit or Pension Credit, you're often due this, but it's not automatic, YOU MUST APPLY, which is why so many miss out."

News Shopper: Council Tax Support and Carer's Allowance are just two areas people are missing out on benefit payments.Council Tax Support and Carer's Allowance are just two areas people are missing out on benefit payments. (Image: Canva)

Carer's Allowance

According to the Money Saving Expert website around 500,000 carers miss out on up to £4,000 a year. 

This allowance is a payment for people who act as unpaid carers - whether for a family member, spouse, child, or even someone you're not related to. 

Who's missing out? 

To claim you must care for someone who gets Attendance Allowance, or someone on Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance. 

Mr Lewis added: "(You must) spend 35+ hours a week helping with everyday tasks like washing, cooking and shopping; and earn less than £139/wk (after tax) or have a low state pension.

"If you care for someone for less then 35hrs a week, you may be entitled to Carer's Credit, which helps build national insurance years for your state pension (it's back-claimable too, so click the link to read more)."

Pension Credit

It is estimated around 850,000 pensioner households miss out on around £3,500 a year. 

Pension Credit is used to top up your income.

Mr Lewis said: "On average it's worth £3,500/yr, but claim even if you're only due 50p, as its SUPERPOWER is to qualify you for extra benefits like council tax reduction and free TV licences."

Who's missing out? 

Mr Lewis said it was worth checking if you're of state pension age and have a weekly income below around £220.

He added: "Pension Credit claiming is URGENT. Do it by 19 May, and you also get £301 cost of living payment."

Child Benefit

750,000 families miss out on an average £2,075 a year. A monthly payment for those with parental responsibilities for children under 16 (and those under 20 if in full-time education) providing no parent earns over £60,000. 

Who's missing out? 

Some new parents don't realise you must register for Child Benefit. Others don't claim as they were higher earners but their circumstances have changed and are newly eligible. See our Child Benefit guide for full info.

Martin's advice is: "Even if you (or your partner) earn £60,000+, claim zero-rate Child Benefit, ie, register but tick the 'I don't want to be paid' box. Doing this can trigger national insurance credits protecting your state pension entitlement."

Housing Benefit

Around 250,000 pensioners miss out on an average £5,000 a year rent help according to Mr Lewis. 

For eligible under-66s, it's automatically part of Universal Credit, but not for those of state pension age. 

Who's missing out? 

Mr Lewis said: "Renters eligible for Pension Credit, for instance, on a relatively low income.

"When you apply for Pension Credit, you can usually apply for Housing Benefit at the same time. If you already get Pension Credit, apply with your local council.

News Shopper: Around 250,000 families are missing out on Free School Meals a year.Around 250,000 families are missing out on Free School Meals a year. (Image: PA)

Free School Meals

It's thought around 250,000 families miss out on £500 worth of Free School Meals a year. 

Free School Meals sees a cooked meal served to eligible under-18s during the school day. 

Who's missing out? 

Mr Lewis added: "Many new Universal Credit claimants (who don't realise you can only apply when you've had your first Universal Credit payment) and others who don't know they must re-register at the start of every year for each child.

Water Social Tariffs

Mr Lewis said a huge 5.7 million households across the UK are missing out on £160 a year. 

Every water company in England & Wales has a social tariff scheme for those on low incomes.

Who's missing out? 

He added: "Fewer than 2 in 10 that are eligible are getting the help they need, with nearly £1 billion in unclaimed support."

Broadband Social Tariffs

Up to 5.3 million households miss out on more than £20 a month in discounts from broadband-related social tariffs according to Mr Lewis. 

Social tariffs are discounted deals offered by some firms to people on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and sometimes other benefits. 

Who's missing out? 

Mr Lews said: "Only 3% of those eligible have signed up, so if you're on Universal Credit especially, check it out.

"Our broadband comparison shows them side-by-side against mainstream cheapest deals (and if your current firm doesn't offer one, just move firm to get one, providing you're out of contract)."

Your Money Matters

News Shopper: Your Money MattersYour Money Matters (Image: Newsquest)

Your Money Matters is a campaign launched by us and our sister titles across Newsquest to help you overcome the surge in the cost of living.

This year has seen a whole host of household price increases — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing your family hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.

We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost-of-living crisis is having on our readers.

The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial impact of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all feel the pinch.

Through our newspaper, we want to do what we can to help make your cash go further because we know your money matters.