Britons on low incomes may be able to claim £1,200 savings boost – are you eligible?

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Backed by the UK Government, the Help to Buy scheme permits people to develop their savings, allowing the British public to increase their account balances by £1,200. Account holders can save between between £1 and £50 per month, however they do not have to save every month. Help to Save is an easy access account for savers, which makes it accessible to take out money for withdrawals.

For every £1 an account holder saves over a four-year period, they will receive a 50p bonus.

This particular account is set up to add this bonus up to a maximum of £1,200 for those claiming either Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

After the Help to Save’s first two years, 50 percent of the bonus is paid into the account holder’s separate bank account.

At this point, account holders can decide whether or not to continue saving. If they decide to continue, they can save for another two years.

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At the end of the four-year period, account holders will receive the following 50 percent of their bonus.

It is important to note that the bonus for the first 24 months is paid on the highest amount that is in the account during these two years, not the amount that is in there towards the end.

Furthermore, the bonus after the second two years is paid on the amount that is the highest balance in years three and four, which exceeds your highest balance in years one and two.

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Who is eligible for Help to Save?

At the time of the Government scheme’s launch, it was estimated that 3.5million Britons were eligible for an account.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that hundreds of thousands more will also be able qualify due to the economic downturn.

Those looking to open a Help to Save must be UK residents and have an employment income of £617.73 or more for the last monthly assessment period.

As well as the points mentioned above, account holders must also be claiming either Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.

For applicants who are not working due to the pandemic, they may still be eligible for Help to Save if their partner is in fact still working.

If couples claim Universal Credit together and their combined income was above £617.73 in the last assessment period, they both will be able to open a Help to Save account.

However, couples are not able to open a joint Help to Save together, as the account is only made for one individual saver at a time.

Savers are able to keep their account even if they no longer qualify for the necessary benefits, as they only need to be eligible at the time they open the Help to Save.

Anyone interested in opening up an account can do so via the Government’s online Help to Save portal through their Government Gateway account.

Alternatively, future account holders can instead call up the HMRC helpline for advice from a qualified expert on navigating the process.

Britons only have until September 2023 to open up a Help to Save account. Even after this date has passed, it will remain open for four years.

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