17th November, 2022
The Chancellor, in his autumn statement, made several important announcements, which will significantly impact on the UK’s benefits regime. The changes, effective from April 2023, include, for example:
*Increases to Universal Credit’s, standard allowance, child, carer, disability and limited capability elements, all by the rate of inflation, fixed in September 2022 i.e., 10.1%
*Disability Living Allowance; Attendance Allowance; Carer’s Allowance; Incapacity Benefit; and ESA work related activity and support component rates; Personal Independence Payments, rates all increased by 10.1%
*Basic State Pension by 10.1%
*Non-dependent, housing cost contribution, better known as non-dep deductions, which, in effect, reduce the tenant’s “housing costs element” by the current level, plus 10.1%.
*Regrettably, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates remain frozen at 2020 levels
*Government plans to create a new “housing element” of Pension Credit (PC), replacing Housing Benefit (HB) – currently being subsumed into Universal Credit for working-age claimants. This measure pushes back the planned date for implementation from April 2025 to April 2028. To make this clear, this only affects pensioners!
*DWP has decided to delay the forced migration of Employment and Support Allowance claimants to Universal Credit, until 2028. But the change doesn’t apply if the household also receives Child Tax Credit. On the one hand, this will be a relief to those claimants who didn’t want to make the transition. However, there’s a likelihood many of these families, will still be forced to make the move through Natural Migration, due to a change in household circumstances. If that happens, no transitional protection will be applied, so they may be financially worse off in the move.
*The Benefit Cap will be increased by 10.1%, so more households will see their payments increase because of the general uprating from April 2023. The cap will be raised from £20,000 to £22,020 for families nationally and from £23,000 to £25,323 in Greater London, while for single adults it will be raised from £13,400 to £14,753 nationally and from £15,410 to £16,967 in Greater London
*A £900 “Cost of Living” payment will be made to households claiming means-tested benefits in 2023-24. This one-off payment of £900 will be made to households on income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income Support; Pension Credit; Universal Credit; Child Tax Credit; Working Tax Credit, across the UK in 2023-24.
*£300 “Pensioner Cost of Living” payment. This means pensioner households (those with people over State Pension age of 66) will receive £300 in 2023-24.
DWP will provide more details of these measures, in the next week or so, in the form of an updating circular. Meanwhile, I hope you find the information helpful. Contact me on 07733 080 389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require clarification.