Universal Credit changes will affect 600,000 Britons

Autumn Statement: Hunt announces changes to Universal Credit

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More than 600,000 more people on Universal Credit will now meet with a work coach to get extra support. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the change in the Autumn Statement, saying it would help more people get the support they need to increase their hours of work, and earn more money.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak asked the Work and Pensions Secretary to do a thorough review of issues holding back work-force participation to conclude early in the new year.

Alongside this, the Chancellor explained that he is committed to helping people already in work raise their incomes, progress in work and become financially independent.

Universal Credit payment rates are also going up from April 2023, in line with September’s rate of inflation.

Universal Credit claimants will see a 10.1 percent rise in their benefit payments.

Mr Hunt said: “On average a family on Universal Credit will benefit next year by around £600.

“And to increase the number of households who can benefit from the decision are also exceptionally increase the benefit cap with inflation next year.”

Under the new change, more people who receive Universal Credit and are able to work will be provided with a work coach.

Work coaches are there to help with job searches, and they can give people individual support depending on their needs.

This can include:

  • helping them to identify their transferable skills and how these may help them in jobs or industries they may not have thought of before
  • using their local expertise to help with the job search and to find suitable opportunities for them
  • helping people create, improve and adapt their CV
  • supporting them with job applications and providing advice to increase their chance of success
  • helping people prepare and practise for interviews

Around 5.8 million Universal Credit claimants are set to benefit from the rises. The amount claimants will be better off by next year will depend on individual circumstances.

Here’s how the standard allowance will increase for each eligible group:

  • Single and under 25 – from £265.31 to £292.11
  • Single and 25 or over – from £334.91 to £368.74
  • Living with partner and both under 25 – from £416.45 (for them both) to £458.51
  • Living with partner and either of one of them is 25 or over – from £525.72 (for them both) to £578.82.

Mr Hunt said: “I also decided to move back the managed transition people from Employment and Support Allowance onto Universal Credit to 2028.

“I will invest an extra £280million in DWP to crack down on benefit fraud and error over the next two years.

“The Government’s review on the state pension age will also be published early 2023.”

Confirming that benefits and state pensions will rise in line with inflation, the Chancellor told the Commons: “Today I also commit to uprate such benefits by inflation with an increase of 10.1%, that is an expensive commitment costing £11 billion.

“But it means 10 million working-age families will see a much-needed increase next year.

“On average, a family on universal credit will benefit next year by around £600. And to increase the number of households who can benefit from this decision I will also increase the benefit cap with inflation next year.”

He added: “To support the poorest pensioners, I have decided to increase the pension credit by 10.1% which is worth up to £1,470 for a couple and £960 for a single pensioner in our most vulnerable households.

“But the cost-of-living crisis is harming all pensioners so because we have taken difficult decisions elsewhere in this statement, I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions triple-lock.

“The Government’s review on the state pension age will also be published early 2023.”

Confirming that benefits and state pensions will rise in line with inflation, the Chancellor told the Commons: “Today I also commit to uprate such benefits by inflation with an increase of 10.1 percent, that is an expensive commitment costing £11 billion.

“But it means 10 million working-age families will see a much-needed increase next year.

“On average, a family on universal credit will benefit next year by around £600. And to increase the number of households who can benefit from this decision I will also increase the benefit cap with inflation next year.”

He added: “To support the poorest pensioners, I have decided to increase the pension credit by 10.1 percent which is worth up to £1,470 for a couple and £960 for a single pensioner in our most vulnerable households.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, it is now more important than ever for people to make sure they are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to.

Universal Credit claimants struggling with the cost of living crisis may be entitled to extra support from the Government.

For example Universal Credit claimants could get help with their council tax bills – and in some cases they could get a 100 percent discount.
Each council runs its own reduction scheme so how much the discount is worth depends on where someone lives.

Each circumstance will also have an effect on the discount, such as one’s earnings, household income, number of children they have and how many people live with them.

People can find out more on Gov.uk.

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