What benefits are available for single people in the UK?

Politicians and the media often talk about supporting families during difficult times but being single can be tough too. If you are the only adult in a household, you don’t have anyone to share costs with.

With the cost of living rising rapidly, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to. And it’s not only those who are out of work who can claim. 

This article runs through the main sources of financial help you may be able to claim as a single person.

Universal Credit is the main benefit for single people

Benefits for single low income people

Universal Credit has now replaced many other benefits. It is now the main benefit to claim if you have a low income, whether you are single, have a family, are in work or out of work.

If you’re single, the standard allowances for Universal Credit are:


Monthly Standard Allowance

Single under 25


Single over 25


You may be able to get more if you need help with housing costs, if you are looking after children, if you cannot work due to sickness or disability, or if you are a carer.

If you’re in work but on a low income you may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you’ll get less than if you have no income at all. You may also get less if you have savings of over £6,000.

You can get more information on Universal Credit, check your eligibility and claim online visit the Universal Credit official government website

Help with Council Tax for Single People

If you live alone or are the only adult in your household counted for Council Tax, you can claim a 25% discount on your council tax bill.

You may also be able to get a further reduction in your Council Tax in some situations. This can include people receiving certain benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit. You may also be able to get more help with Council Tax if you are disabled and need to live in a larger house than you would otherwise because you need extra space.

You can read more about council tax discounts here.

Personal Independence Payments for Single People

If you have a long-term illness or disability, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is intended to help with getting around and doing everyday tasks that are harder because you have a physical or mental condition.

Unlike many other benefits, this has not yet been replaced by Universal Credit. Also, unlike many other forms of income, PIP doesn’t impact the amount of Universal Credit you get.

If you think you’ll qualify. You need to be over 16 and below the state pension age. At the state pension age, PIP is replaced by Attendance Allowance.

PIP payments have different components and the amount you can receive depends on your own needs. At the time of writing, payments range from £24.45 to £156.90 per week.

You can initially apply for PIP over the phone. You’ll be sent a form to complete and may then be asked to have a medical assessment.

For more information about Personal Independence Payments (PIP) please read government guidance which can be found here

Benefits for older single people

If you’re receiving a state pension but on a low income you may be eligible for Pension Credit to top it up. At the time of writing (August 2022) your income as a single person, including your pension, needs to be below £182.60 a week to qualify.

Receiving Pension Credit can unlock access to other benefits such as help with health and housing costs and free TV licenses for those over 75.

For more information on Pension Credit please visit the Gov.uk website. 

If you have a long-term illness or disability, you may also be able to claim an Attendance Allowance – Read more on that here

Other help for single people on a low income

If you care for children, you may be able to get additional benefits. As well as Child Benefit, you may qualify for free school meals and help with childcare costs. If you are bringing up children on your own because your spouse or civil partner has died, you may be able to claim a widowed parent’s allowance or bereavement support payment.

If you’re on certain benefits you may be able to qualify for free NHS prescriptions. 

If you’re still struggling, you can apply for a budgeting loan or budgeting advance to help with emergency household costs. This does need to be paid back through your Universal Credit payments though.

The government website gives more information on the full range of help you might be able to get based on your circumstances.

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Representative example: Amount of credit: £1000 for 12 months at £123.40 per month. Total amount repayable of £1,480.77 Interest: £480.77. Interest rate: 79.5% pa (fixed). 79.5% APR Representative. We’re a fully regulated and authorised credit broker and not a lender