Universal Credit warning: Rates will change in April but payments may drop by £20 a week | Personal Finance | Finance


Universal Credit payments are tailored to individual claimants’ circumstances, with additional funding being provided for elements such as raising a child or having certain disabilities. However, in November 2020 the DWP confirmed payments across the board will be increasing from April 12.

Thérèse Coffey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, confirmed the following on November 25: “State pensions will be increased by 2.5 percent in line with the Government’s manifesto commitment.

“The full rate of the new state pension will now be worth £179.60 per week.

“The Standard Minimum Guarantee in Pension Credit will also increase by the same cash amount as the basic state pension, rising by 1.9 percent.

“All other benefits will be increased in line with CPI – which was 0.5 percent in the relevant reference period.

READ MORE: Universal Credit claimants can receive £812 to get them into work

“This includes working-age benefits, benefits to help with additional needs arising from disability, carers’ benefits, pensioner premiums in income-related benefits, statutory payments, and additional state pension.”

While the increase will impact claimants differently it should be noted that there are standard allowances in place which all recipients will receive as a minimum, with these changing as follows:

  • Single claimants under 25 will see their sum rise from £256.05 to £257.33 in the 2021/22 financial year
  • Single claimants aged 25 or over will see the amount increased from £323.22 to £324.84
  • Couples making a joint claim where both are under 25, entitlement will increase from £401.92 to £403.93
  • Joint claims where at least one claimant is aged 25 or over will see an increase from £507.37 to £509.91

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However, these raises could be overshadowed if the DWP and wider Government decide to remove the £20 uplift introduced in early 2020.

In a bid to support families through the pandemic, Rishi Sunak boosted Universal Credit payments by around £20 a week but this was intended to be a temporary measure.

Under the current schedule, the Universal Credit uplift is set to be removed from April, meaning claimants across the board may suddenly find themselves seeing their income drop by around £80 per month.

The Government has been pushed by many charities and organisations to extend this uplift and while nothing has been confirmed, Thérèse Coffey has recently detailed that the option is being reviewed.

In late January, Thérèse Coffey told BBC Breakfast: “In November I said to the House of Commons that we would review this in the New Year, that is exactly what we are doing.

“We are hand and glove with the Treasury working to make sure we provide the best support to people throughout this pandemic.

“I can assure you that we are under active consideration of the options on how to best support people at this time.”

She was then asked if she personally was lobbying for the support to continue and Thérèse responded with: “I can assure you it is top of my priority list.”

Rishi Suank and the wider Government have made it clear many times recently that they will not confirm any new support measures until the next budget.

The next budget is scheduled to be delivered on March 3 and many are hoping the Chancellor will extend various coronavirus related schemes.

This could include SEISS, the furlough scheme and Bounce Back Loans.

When announcing the next budget, HM Treasury confirmed it will: “set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs and will be published alongside the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).”

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