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An Update on Universal Credit


Are work allowances changing?

Yes, from April 2019, Work Allowances in Universal Credit will be increased, meaning you’ll be able to keep more of your earnings:

A higher work allowance rate is paid for those who do not have housing costs paid in their award. This will increase from £409 to £501 per month

A lower work allowance rate is for those who do have housing costs paid in their award. This will increase from £198 to £285 per month


Are deductions changing?  


Yes, from October 2019 the overall maximum level of deductions that can be taken from a household’s UC award will be reduced from 40% to 30% of their Standard Allowance. If deductions of more than 30% of your award were being taken before the change, this will mean you get to keep more of your award each month (less money is deducted from your award each month).


Is there more support for the self-employed?

Yes, from July 2020, a 12-month exemption period from Universal Credit’s Minimum Income Floor will apply to all gainfully self-employed customers new to UC or new to self-employment. This will apply to existing UC customers who become gainfully self-employed and new claims, including if you are running a long-standing business, or are moving from an existing benefit (Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance etc).

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme is being extended beyond its current expiry date of March 2019 giving self-employed customers more support to run their business.

The intention of the exemption period is to give you the breathing space and support you need to put your business on a sustainable footing.


What’s changing for those transitioning from Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance to UC?

From July 2020, entitlement to income related Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance will continue for 2 weeks after a claim for UC has been made. This ensures that you will receive the support you need to make the transition from your existing benefits to Universal Credit.


Is the timeline for rolling out Universal Credit changing?

UC full service rollout will complete in December as planned.


Will I be worse off moving to UC? 

We have carefully revised the plan for migrating claimants to Universal Credit from their existing benefits; we have extended the testing period to make sure that we take the necessary time to get this absolutely right.

Testing will take place from July 2019 and the full roll out will run from November 2020 and complete in 2023.


Will DWP consult on the pension scheme charge cap? 


Yes, DWP will consult in 2019 on changes to the way pension schemes comply with the automatic enrolment default fund cap on pension charges.


Is a Pensions Dashboard going to be made available?


Yes, the transfer of the administration of support for rent for pensioners from local authorities to the DWP will be delayed until the completion of the Universal Credit rollout.

An online service that will enable consumers to see their pensions information in one place, clearly and simply is planned. We are working with industry to help determine the right delivery approach for a Pensions Dashboard. DWP will publish their feasibility report in the coming months. The dashboard will let people access their pension information in a single place online, in a clear and simple form.


Is Dupuytren’s contracture being added to the existing list prescribed for entitlement to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB)?

Yes, workers who have developed a hand disorder known as Dupuytren’s contracture could be entitled to support through changes to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.



Are there changes about the administration of Housing Benefit for pensioners?


No, if your circumstances remain the same you will not see your benefit entitlement reduced as a direct result of being moved on to UC. You will receive transitional protection.


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