Millions of Universal Credit claimants are to receive a boost to their income as payments have increased by 10.1 percent from today. The amount of Universal Credit a person or couple receives depends on their situation and the extra money will be particularly welcome as many bills are also increasing from this month.
Each claimant gets a standard allowance with potential additional payments to help with other living needs.
With the 10.1 percent increase, the monthly standard allowance is going up to:
- Single under 25: £292.11
- Single 25 or over: £368.74
- Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51
- Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82.
Claimants who have children may be able to claim additional payments, with the rate varying depending on how many children a person has.
The majority of claimants only get extra payments for up to two children, but extra payments may be available for those whose children were born before April 6, 2017, or who were claiming for three or more children before that date.
Payments to parents with a first child born before April 6, 2017, will go up to £315 a month.
Claimants with children born after 2017 and for second children or additional children will go up to £269.58 a month.
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Parents with disabled children can also get further payments to help meet their costs. The monthly rates will be:
- Lower rate for parents of disabled children – £146.31
- Higher rate for severely disabled children- £456.89.
Claimants with disabilities or health conditions which limit their capacity to work can get additional payments through the Limited Capability to Work element. This rate is going up to £390.06.
A person can apply for Universal Credit if they are on a low income or unemployed, and if they are aged over 18 and under state pension age, which is currently 66 for both men and women.
A person also needs to have no more than £16,000 in cash, savings or investments. There is a benefits checker tool on the Government website which can show how much a person can claim.
Universal Credit is gradually replacing the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit.
Claimants of these benefits will be informed when they are being transferred to Universal Credit and if their payments will be affected.
A person will be naturally moved over when reporting a change in their circumstances such as taking on a new job.
Many other benefits are increasing 10.1 percent in April including Child Benefit, PIP and Pension Credit.
People on Universal Credit are also to get a £900 cost of living payment in three instalments, with the first instalment of £301 to arrive in people’s bank accounts from this month.
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