Universal Credit to Increase in April – New DWP Payment Amounts Confirmed for Singles, Couples and Families

Universal Credit payments increase next month – but how much will you receive?

The benefit consists of a standard allowance – which is different if you are under or over 25 and whether you are single or in a couple – plus a number of additional amounts if you have children, a disability or a health condition, or family responsibilities.

This means that some people will receive much more than others. Below, we’ve looked at all of the boosts to the different elements of the plan so you can get away with it.

Head here for the latest cost of living news

The Universal Credit increases come as all eyes are on household budgets amid the cost of living crisis. There has been a warning that all recipients of eight DWP and HMRC benefits will face an income cut of up to £720 a year (£60 a month) from April 2022 as payments will not increase depending of inflation.

Among the pressures on families, energy prices are set to soar by 54% from early April, adding £693 to the annual bills of a typical household, reports BirminghamLive.

After a decision was made to increase the state pension by 3.1%, based on a temporary double-locking rule rather than the usual triple-locking, all other benefits are to be increased by the same amount .

The new rates will apply in the 2022/23 tax year and come into effect on April 11, 2022. Here are all the new Universal Credit rates and, for comparison, what they are now.

Universal Credit 2022/2023 (monthly rates indicated)

The new rates from April for the 2022/2023 fiscal year are shown below with the 2021/2022 rates in parentheses alongside for comparison.

Standard allowance

Only

Single under 25: £265.31 (from £257.33)

Single 25+: £334.91 (from £324.84)

Pair

Joint applicants under 25: £416.45 (was £403.93)

Joint applicants, one or both aged 25 or over: £525.72 (from £509.91)

Children’s amounts

First child (born before April 6, 2017): £290.00 (from £282.60)

First child (born on or after 6 April 2017) or second and subsequent child (where an exception or transitional provision applies): £244.58 (was £237.08)

Additions of children with disabilities

Lower fare: £132.89 (was £128.89)

Higher fare: £414.88 (was 402.41)

Limited work capacity

Limited Work Capacity: £132.89 (was £128.89)

Limited capacity for work and work-related activities: £354.28 (from £343.63)

Helping amount

£168.81 (from £163.73)

Work allowance

This is the amount you can earn in salary before your Universal Credit is reduced. Work allowance only applies if you or your partner have one or more dependent children or limited work capacity.

Higher working allowance (no housing amount) – £573 (moved from April 2021 rate of £515 to new rate of £557 on 24 November 2021, after Autumn Budget)

Lower Working Allowance – £344 (moved from April 2021 rate of £293 to a new rate of £335 on 24 November 2021, after the Autumn Budget)



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Who is eligible for Universal Credit and how to apply

You can apply for Universal Credit whether you are working on a low salary (including self-employed or part-time), currently unemployed, unable to work, or in education or training.

To claim you must live in the UK, be under state pension age and have £16,000 or less in cash, savings and investments.

Usually applicants must be under the age of 18, but there are exceptions – those aged 16 or 17 may also be eligible for Universal Credit if they have a medical condition or disability or do not benefit from no parental support. Other criteria for people this age include caring for a severely disabled person, being responsible for a child, having had a baby in the past 15 weeks, or being pregnant and expecting to give birth within 11 next weeks. Additionally, people in this age bracket may be eligible if they live with a partner, have a child in their care, and their partner is eligible for Universal Credit.

Students can apply for Universal Credit under a variety of circumstances, including if they do not have parental support or if they are taking a course where no financial assistance such as a student loan is available. They may also be eligible if they are responsible for a child or live with a partner who is eligible for the benefit.

Anyone living with a partner will need to apply jointly for the household, even if the other person is not eligible for state assistance. Your partner’s income and savings are also considered when determining how much Universal Credit you will get.

After the first payment, you will be paid on the same date each month. If your payment date is a weekend, you are paid the nearest business day before. To start your claim, call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

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Elaine R. Knight