How Universal Credit is changing in 2021 as confirmed by the DWP

The Department for Work and Pensions has explained how Universal Credit and other benefit payments will change in the New Year.

According to Kent Live, the benefits freeze of 2-16 ended in April of 2020.

This meant that benefits had not risen in line with inflation for at least four years.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Universal Credit claimants were given a boost of £1,040 per year – that’s around £20 per week.

An extra boost was also given to people on Working Tax Credit which rose by £1,045 per year.

Figures suggest that people on Universal Credit and the benefits it has replaced may have lost around £1,800 per year while the cuts were in place.

Universal Credit coronavirus boost ending April 2021

The Universal Credit coronavirus boost is set to come to an end in April 2021.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has said the matter would be reviewed in the new year but at present the DWP's benefit payment rises for Universal Credit do not incorporate the coronavirus rise.

Universal Credit increases April 2021

In April 2021, Universal Credit payments will rise as follows for the 2021/2022 financial year:

Standard allowances

  • For those single and aged under 25, standard allowance per month will rise from £256.05 to £257.33 (this is lower than the 2020 amount of £342.72 which includes the coronavirus boost)
  • For those single and aged 25 or over, standard allowance per month will rise from £323.22 to £324.84 (this is lower than the 2020 amount of £409.89 which includes the coronavirus boost)
  • For joint claimants both under 25, standard allowance per month will rise from £401.92 to £403.93 (this is is lower than the 2020 amount of £488.59. which includes the coronavirus boost)
  • For joint claimants where one or both are 25 or over, standard allowance per month will rise from £507.37 to £509.91 (this is lower than the 2020 amount of £594.04. which includes the coronavirus boost)
  • Daily Star's newsletter brings you the biggest and best stories – sign up today

Extra amounts for children

  • For those with a first child born before April 6, 2017, the extra amount is going up from £281.25 to £282.50
  • For those with a child (born on or after April 6, 2017) or second child and subsequent child (where an exception or transitional provision applies), the extra amount is going up from £235.83 to £237.08
  • For those with a disabled child, the lower rate of the additional payment is going up from £128.25 to £128.89 and the higher rate from £400.29 to £402.12

Extra amount for limited capability for work

  • For those deemed to have limited capability for work, the extra amount is going up from £128.25 to £128.89
  • For those deemed to have limited capability for work or work-related activity, the extra amount is going up from £341.92 to £343.63

Extra amounts for childcare costs

Those on UC who need help with childcare costs can get up to 85 per cent of it back:

  • For those on UC with one child, the maximum amount given for childcare costs is staying the same at £646.35
  • For those on UC with two or more children, the maximum amount given for childcare costs is staying the same at £1108.04

Extra amount for being a carer

  • If you are on UC and provide care for at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person who receives a disability-related benefit, the extra amount you receive in your UC is going up from £162.92 to £163.73

Housing costs

  • Non-dependants’ housing cost contributions are going up from £75.15 to £75.53 (this is the amount taken off your UC)

Benefits help site EntitledTo explains: "If you share your home with someone who is not your partner or a dependent child, this may affect your benefits.

"Non-dependants are often people like grown-up sons and daughters or elderly relatives. A non-dependant is a person who lives with you but is not liable for paying rent under a formal arrangement.

"If you live with a non-dependant your Housing Benefit, Universal Credit Housing Element and Council Tax Reduction may be reduced through rules on non-dependant deductions."

  • Daily Star's lockdown sex survey: We want to know about your relationships!

Work allowance

  • The higher work allowance (no housing amount) for someone claiming UC with one or more dependent children or limited capability for work is going up from £512 to £515
  • The lower work allowance for someone claiming UC with one or more dependent children or limited capability for work is going up from £292 to £293

Deductions

Amounts can be taken out of your Universal Credit to pay back arrears owed for council tax, energy or water bills, rent, court fines, compensation orders, or child maintenance.

For third party deductions where five per cent of the standard allowance is taken, the amount is going up as follows:

  • For those who are single and under 25, the deduction is going up from £12.80 to £12.87
  • For those who are single and aged 25 or over, the deduction is going up from £16.16 to £16.24
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the deduction is going up from £20.10 to £20.20
  • For joint claimants where one or both are 25 or over, the deduction is going up from £25.37 to £25.50

Deductions to pay fines are staying the same at £108.35

Child maintenance deductions are staying the same at £36.40

For deductions to repay rent and service charges where a minimum 10 per cent of the standard allowance is taken up to a maximum of 20 per cent, the amounts are going up as follows:

  • For those who are single and under 25, the minimum deduction is going up from £25.61 to £25.73 and the maximum deduction is going up from £51.21 to £51.47
  • For those who are single and aged 25 or over, the minimum deduction is going up from £32.32 to £32.48 and the maximum deduction is going up from £64.64 to £64.97
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the minimum deduction is going up from £40.19 to £40.39 and the maximum deduction is going up from £80.38 to £80.79
  • For joint claimants where one or both are 25 or over, the minimum deduction is going up from £50.74 to £50.99 and the maximum deduction is going up from to £101.47 to £101.98

Fraud overpayments, recoverable hardship payments and administrative penalties will go up as follows:

  • For those who are single and under 25, the amount deducted is going up from £76.82 to £77.20
  • For those who are single and aged 25 or over, the amount deducted is going up from £96.97 to £97.45
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the amount deducted is going up from £120.58 to £121.18
  • For joint claimants where one or both are 25 or over, the amount deducted is going up from £152.21 to £152.97

For other overpayments, and civil penalties, the amounts taken will go up as follows:

  • For those who are single and under 25, the amount deducted is going up from £38.41 to £38.60
  • For those who are single and aged 25 or over, the amount deducted is going up from £48.48 to £48.73
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the amount deducted is going up from £60.29 to £60.59
  • For joint claimants where one or both are 25 or over, the amount deducted is going up from £76.11 to £76.49

Universal Credit debt repayments changing October 2021

Those starting a claim for Universal Credit can get advances to tide them over during the five-week wait for the first payment. An advance is an upfront loan up to the value of the first Universal Credit amount a person is expected to receive.

Advances have to be paid back in instalments from future Universal Credit over the next 12 months – but that repayment period is set to increase to 24 months from October 2021.

At the same time, the maximum level of deductions from a person's Universal Credit will reduce from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

However, in the meantime the 30 per cent maximum deduction will go up in April to take account of the increase in Universal Credit.

  • For those who are single and under 25, the maximum deduction of 30 per cent will rise in April 2021 from £76.82 to £77.20 – and then the rate drops to 25 per cent from October, meaning your deduction would fall to £64.33 by our calculations
  • For those who are single and aged 25 or over, the maximum deduction of 30 per cent will rise in April 2021 from £96.97 to £97.45 – and then the rate drops to 25 per cent from October, meaning your deduction would fall to £81.21 by our calculations
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the maximum deduction of 30 per cent will rise in April 2021 from £120.58 to £121.18 – and then the rate drops to 25 per cent from October, meaning your deduction would fall to £100.98 by our calculations
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the maximum deduction of 30 per cent will rise in April 2021 from £152.21 to £152.97 – and then the rate drops to 25 per cent from October, meaning your deduction would fall to £127.48 by our calculations

Source: Read Full Article