People on benefits could take in an extra £1,200 from a savings account, according to financial expert Martin Lewis. 

Close to 11 million could be entitled to a savings scheme because they are eligible for some form of benefits such as Universal Credit or Tax Credits. This is known as the Help to Save Scheme. It allows you to set up a government savings account, allowing people to get a 50p bonus for every £1 that they save for up to four years. That 50p per pound saved comes from the government. 

People who used the scheme can bank up to £50 in their savings at the end of each month. You can only declare up to £50 of savings per-month so, if you have accumulated £50 of savings by November 20, you won’t be allowed to pay anything more you earn over that period. Anything you earn after that period before the start of December will have to be rolled over to the next month. 

The Help to Save scheme allows you to set up a government savings account that helps people on low incomes to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over a period of up to four years.

Over those four years, if you put £50 of savings in each month then you will accumulate £2,400 of total savings. This allows you to make a maximum of £1,200 in bonus money from the government (2400 x 0.5 = 1200). 

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Am I eligible?

According to Martin Lewis, you could be entitled to the money if you:

  • Are receiving Working Tax Credit
  • Qualify for Working Tax Credit and receive Child Tax Credit
  • Are a Universal Credit claimant and you earned £604.56 or more from paid work since your last monthly assessment period; joint-claims, for the same amount, are also allowed

Lewis had started a new series of The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV and he was talking about this great financial opportunity to his studio audience. 

“For those who are on a low income, for example you’re on Universal Credit, you can put up to £50 pounds a month, over two years,” Lewis said. And it pays you a bonus 50% on the highest amount you have.

“So think of it like this, you put £50 if you have the money, in for a year, you’ve got £600.

“You have a problem and you need the cash, which many on low incomes might find, so you put nothing in for the rest of the two years.

“Now the highest amount you’ll have is £600, 50% of that is £300. That’s the bonus you’ll get, totally unbeatable.”

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