In this latest edition of our advice blog, Welfare Benefits Advisor Jen Kelly outlines the key welfare benefit changes announced in the Autumn Budget, which may be relevant for the RAF Family.
April 2019 – Work Allowance to increase
If you get Universal Credit, and have children or a limited capability for work because of a disability or long-term health condition, you will have a Work Allowance. This is the amount you can earn before your Universal Credit is affected.
From April 2019 the Work Allowance will increase by £1,000. This means that those who have the Work Allowance could be better off by up to £630 per year (just over £50 per month).
October 2019 – Rate of deductions to decrease
If you have debts, you may have deductions made from your Universal Credit. At the moment the maximum rate of these deductions is 40% of the Universal Credit standard allowance.
From October 2019 the maximum rate of these deductions will decrease to 30% of the standard allowance. This means that the amount of Universal Credit you should be left with, after deductions are made, should increase.
July 2020 – Benefit run-on to be introduced
Those who receive Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (called ‘legacy benefits’) will, at some point, have to claim Universal Credit instead of these legacy benefits.
At the moment, when someone claims Universal Credit, any of these legacy benefits they get immediately stops. As you have to wait over a month to get your first Universal Credit payment, some people find this difficult to budget for.
From July 2020 you can carry on getting these legacy benefits for two weeks after you claim Universal Credit. This will reduce the time you have to wait before receiving financial support, making the move from legacy benefits to Universal Credit smoother.
October 2021 – Advance payment recovery period to increase
If you are in financial need while waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance payment. At the moment, if you have an advance payment, it has to be re-paid within 12 months.
From October 2021, the recovery period will increase to 16 months. This means those paying back an advance payment will have longer to do so, which should allow them to keep more of their Universal Credit each month.
That's all for this post. If you have any questions about any of the above, or about benefits in general, please feel free to contact the Fund on 0800 169 2942 and ask to speak with a Welfare Benefits Advisor.