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The standard Universal Credit monthly payment will increase from £265.31 to £292.11 for single claimaints aged under 25. The payment for those over 25 will increase from £334.91 to £368.74.
Joint claimants – couples in the same household – will get £458.51 per month if they are both under 25, up from £416.45. Joint claimants will get £578.82 if at least one of them is over 25, up from £525.72.
Children – extra amounts for first and second children
These payments are made to parents claiming Univeral Credit. Most only get extra payments for up to two children, but those whose children were born before April 6, 2017 or were claiming for three or more children before that date can get payments for additional children.
First-child payments to parents with children born before April 6, 2017 will increase to £315, up from £290. Payments for children born after April 2017 and second children/additional children will increase from £244.58 to £269.58.
Parents will disabled children can get additional payments. These rise from £132.89 to £146.31 for parents of disabled kids, and up to £456.89 from £414.88 for parents of severely disabled children.
If you have a disability or health condition
People with disabilities or health conditions that limit their ability to work can get extra on top of their standard Universal Credit payments.
Those eligible for the Limited Capability for Work amount will get their payments increased from £132.89 to £146.31. The Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity amount will rise from £354.28 to £390.06
Payments to carers who look after somebody for 35 hours a week will increase from £168.81 to £185.86.
Universal Credit recipients who are working can claim back up to 85% of their childcare cost up to a maximum amount. Unlike other aspects of Universal Credit, that allowance is not being increased from April. It will remain at £646.35 for one child and £1108.04 for two or more.
Universal Credit is a single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. Since its roll-out in 2013, it replaced all the various bits and pieces of benefits and credits you used to get:
The main differences between Universal Credit and the former welfare system are:
Some of the changes caused by Universal Credit:
Universal Credit affects anyone claiming benefits or tax credits. Instead of having different payments or credits coming in, you now get one payment – plus perhaps separate help with council tax and a few other bits.
If you think you should be receiving Universal Credit, make sure you have a bank or building society account which allows you to make direct debits and standing orders. Check our advice on choosing the best bank accounts for you. You might also want to consider opening an account with a Credit Union – our article is full of advice on the benefits of joining one, and where your nearest one is.
If you live with your partner, you’ll have to make a joint claim even if your partner is in work. Your claim is assessed on household income even if you’re not married – so if your partner earns over a certain amount, or has over £16,000 in savings, you won’t be eligible. If you’re both eligible for the benefit, you can get one joint payment sent into your joint account. This will enable you to budget more effectively.
Next, start budgeting. Have your direct debits in place so you don’t need to worry about things like rent when it comes to paying it. Having an account that allows you to set up direct debits and standing orders will help. If you need more assistance, our budget planner can help get your finances in order.
Finally, go online. Although you can use the service even without internet access, you might want to find out where in your area you can use the internet for free.
Pension Credit now consists of two elements:
The first one tops your weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for a single person. Savings Credit is an additional payment for those who have savings towards their retirement.
Not sure if you’re eligible? Check here.
You can also ask us! Type your question in the comments box below and we’ll answer it as quickly as possible.