The biggest change to Universal Credit next year will be the end of the increase in payment amounts. The government announced in 2015 that it would no longer increase benefits payments in line with prices – meaning that the payments didn’t go up, despite inflation affecting the cost of living.
- Universal Credit: Cold Weather Payment TRIGGERED – list of postcodes
The freeze is due to end in April 2020, with the government confirming that it will not be extended.
In April 2020, working-age benefits will rise by the rate of inflation in April 2020 – which is 1.7 percent.
This will include Universal Credit payments, with the Department for Work and Pensions estimating around 2.5 million people on Universal Credit will see their payments from the benefit rise.
However, it isn’t just Universal Credit claimants who will enjoy a boost.
Millions of legacy benefits claimants are also set to receive the increase, with a total of more than 10million people benefiting from the rise.
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credits
Working Tax Credits
Universal Credit Christmas bonus given to claimants in December – how to get it [EXPLAINER]
Universal Credit changes: New checks in place to combat scams – how could it affect you? [EXPERT ADVICE]
Universal Credit & Pension Credit claimants could get more cash for funeral costs in 2020 [EXPERT COMMENT]
What is the Universal Credit payment amount? How much do claimants get?
The Universal Credit payment amount is dependent on a person’s circumstances – such as whether the claim is for a single person or a couple, and whether the claimant or their partner are 25 or older, or not.
Claimants may also be able to get certain additional amounts, depending on their situation.
This includes if they have children, need help paying their rent, or have a disability or health condition which prevents them from working.
Circumstances of each claimant are assessed each month, and what they are paid may change.
- Universal Credit: Useful ways you could get extra cash this winter
How is Universal Credit paid? When is it paid?
Universal Credit is paid once a month, usually into the claimant’s bank, building society or credit union account.
It normally takes around five weeks to get the first payment. If a person needs help with their living costs while waiting for this first payment, they can apply for an advance.
This advance is a loan, and must be paid back with repayments starting out of the first payment.
Are Universal Credit claimants eligible for any other cash?
Claimants can open a Help To Save account, which allows certain people to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 that they save over a period of four years.
At the end of the second and fourth years, the saver can get the tax-free bonuses, which are based on how much has been saved. This could amount to £1200 free cash.
For those struggling to make ends meet, there is the Cold Weather Payment, which runs from November 1 2019 to March 31 2020.
A payment can be made if the average temperature in the eligible person’s area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days. The Cold Weather Payment is £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather during the time in which the scheme runs.Source: Read Full Article