It means the Universal Credit standard allowance won’t drop by around £1,000 a year in April. It will increase in April 2021, as planned, by 0.5 percent – in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
This was confirmed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last year.
It comes following the end of the benefits freeze, which saw most working-age benefits remaining at the same rate for four years.
In April 2020, most working-age benefits, including Universal Credit, increased by 1.3 percent.
Universal Credit is made up of a monthly standard allowance, as well as any extra amounts a person may be able to get.
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Examples of this include if people:
- Have children
- Have a disability or health condition which prevents them from working
- Need help paying their rent.
It’s possible to see how much a person could get via a benefits calculator.
It should also be noted that how much a person gets via Universal Credit will depend on their earnings.
Furthermore, circumstances are assessed each month.
Should there be any changes in circumstances, these can affect how much the person is paid for the whole assessment period – not just the date from which they are reported.
The standard allowance a person gets depends on certain factors.
These are whether the benefit is being claimed by a single person or couple, and age also plays a role too.
Towards the end of last year, the DWP published the new standard allowance rates.
It means the rates will increase as demonstrated below, however claimants will also get the £20 per week uplift on top of this, for six months.
- Single under 25 – from £256.05 to £257.33
- Single 25 or over – from £323.22 to £324.84
- Joint claimants both under 25 – from £401.92 to £403.93
- Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over – from £507.37 to £509.91.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Chancellor said: “To support low-income households, the Universal Credit uplift of £20 a week will continue for a further six months, well beyond the end of this national lockdown.
“We’ll provide Working Tax Credit claimants with equivalent support for the next six months.”