With £15b of unclaimed benefits each year, are your customers claiming everything they’re entitled to?

As people come to terms with the reality of the cost of living crisis and what this means for their household finances, income maximisation could provide much needed support to many up and down the country.

There’s no question that the ability to access fair and affordable credit is an important tool when it comes to the question of financial wellbeing and building financial resilience, and we know that credit isn’t the right answer for everyone. That’s why we’re working alongside Inbest, Policy in Practice, Lightning Reach and entitledto to help people in vulnerable financial circumstances maximise their income.

Research shows a staggering £15b of benefit payments are left unclaimed each year. This means there are a lot of people missing out on essential income they are entitled to claim which could be the difference between having to seek out credit or not – which is becoming more and more difficult for people to secure across the country.

What is income maximisation?

Simply put, income maximisation is all about making sure people are getting the income that they are entitled to, either through state benefit entitlement or in some instances government grants.

We think that by putting in the work now to make sure that the annual sum of £15b of lost benefit payment is reunited with those entitled to claim we can make a real difference to the daily lives of those most in need.

How are we doing that?

Working with our partners, we know that there are several barriers preventing people from accessing their benefit entitlement. When asked, most people say it’s because of an overly complicated system, a lack of awareness as to what they can claim or because they believe they’re not actually entitled to anything.

We believe that we can remove a lot of these barriers, through working with the financial services sector to adopt income maximisation tools and making sure these are integrated as part of their standard customer journeys.

According to Inbest, as part of their partnership with Scotcash, 70% of loan applicants were missing some form of benefit. On average, these customers could claim additional benefits of £465/month and reach a total benefit entitlement of £1,070/month. This would increase their income by 30% to £1,990/month.

We’re working with Inbest, Policy in Practice, Lightning Reach and entitledto to integrate benefit calculators into processes like loan applications, arrears management and member sign ups.

We’re looking to support interested parties with advice, correct signposting, costs associated with development and if integration is not possible, advice on what to do next to support customers.

What next?

If you work in financial services – mainstream or community – and are interested in the benefits of implementing income maximisation tools into your customer journeys, or just want more information, please get in touch with Senthan Balachandrian at senthan@fair4allfinance.org.uk