Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain, the money expert highlighted the key areas where many people are unaware that they are eligible for support. Martin said that a quarter of a million pensioners are currently missing out on Housing Benefit they're entitled to, while another half a million people do not realise they qualify for Carer's Allowance.
As well as benefits, there are also support schemes that many are unaware even exist, Martin said - such as water social tariffs, with just 20% of eligible households claiming their discount, InYourArea reports. Here are the six key areas he outlined which could be a lifeline for those struggling amid the cost of living crisis.
Martin urged that people should not assume they will not be entitled to Universal Credit just because they are working. "The crucial thing to understand here is, this is not just for people out of work. 41 per cent of universal credit applicants, people who get Universal Credit, are in work," he explained.
"So first, if you've got a low income, whether you're working or not, if you've got a low income, you will want to check this out." He went on to recommend that any household who has a family income below £40k should carry out a 10-minute check using an online benefits calculator to see whether they may be able to get Universal Credit.
"If you've got children, and you're paying for childcare, and you're paying for rent, you could still be entitled to Universal Credit," Martin said. "And even if you checked a year ago because the thresholds went up in April, there are a few people, not too many, but a few people who are now eligible who weren't eligible before."
Speaking to the audience, GMB host Susanna Reid said that 850,000 households miss out on £3,500 a year in Pension Credit on average, and added that there's a 'deadline looming'. Martin said those claiming pension credit are also entitled to cost of living payments.
He said: "Pension credit is an income top-up and a gateway benefit. It both gives you income, and it means you're entitled to lots of other benefits. And one of those is the cost of living payments. Now, there's one of £301 being made at the moment, and if you get pension credit by this Friday, then you get that £301 as well as your pension credit."
Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. Single residents with an income below £220 a week, or a couple both of State Pension age, with an income below £320 a week, are entitled to Pension Credit, and it could be worth £3,500 a year.
Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It is being replaced by Universal Credit, but you can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you have reached State Pension age and/or you're living in supported, sheltered or temporary housing.
Martin warned that there are 250,000 pensioners currently missing out on "another five grand a year" in Housing Benefit because they don't realise they need to apply. He said: "You can do it when you're applying for Pension Credit the first time - or if you already get Pension Credit and you're struggling with your rent, then apply at your local council for Housing Benefit as well."
Council tax support
You could be eligible for a reduction of up to 100% in your council tax if you're on a low income or claim benefits. Susanna said: "Three million people are missing out on support that could get them more than £1,000 a year. How can you help them?"
"This one is a big one," Martin replied, explaining that people on means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit must apply for council tax support separately to their benefits application, therefore many don't know that it's available.
He went on to advise that anyone claiming benefits or on a low income gets in touch with their council to see if they are one of the three million missing out on support with their council tax payments. But he warned that each council runs its own scheme, and what you will get depends on several different factors including where you live, your circumstances, and who else lives with you.
An estimated 500,000 are eligible for Carer's Allowance, but are missing out on up to £4,000 each year. You must undergo more than 35 hours of unpaid care a week to qualify, Martin explained.
He said: "Caring can just be cooking, cleaning, helping somebody dress, or taking them out when they need to go out. The person you're caring for must be someone who gets Attendance Allowance, or sometimes Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance."
Martin added: "You must earn under around £140 a week after tax or be on a low State Pension, so quite difficult there. These are the unpaid support staff of our country, and we need to support them. This isn't the biggest payment in the world, but it will help."
Water social tariffs
Susanna said that a staggering 5.7 million households are missing out on £160 each year on average when it comes to help with their water bills via a social tariff, which is available to all water companies and can give certain customers on lower incomes a discount of up to 50%. Martin said that this is the 'biggest one of all being missed' and the 'least known', with 20% of eligible residents claiming the benefit.
"So what you need to do if you're on a lower income and you're struggling to pay your water bill - or even if you're not, if you're just on a lower income - go to your firm's website and search 'social tariffs'. If you're not online, call up the firm and see if there's any help," Martin urged.