Welfare Reform and Work Bill

January 2019

Severe Disability Premium and Universal Credit

Claimants receiving the Severe Disability Premium in a legacy benefit will not be able to move on to Universal Credit for the foreseeable future.

The SDP is an amount paid to severely disabled people as part of the following legacy benefits:

  • JSA (IB)
  • ESA (IR)
  • IS
  • HB

These claimants also need to be in receipt of one of the following disability benefits, and live alone (or be classed as living alone) and no one must be in receipt of Carer’s Allowance (CA) or the UC Carer Element for caring for them:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or higher rate
  • Personal Independence Payment PIP) daily living component at the standard or enhance rate
  • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).

If the claimants are in a couple, they get the higher amount of severe disability premium if the claimant and partner are eligible.

Claimants who receive a legacy benefit which includes the SDP, will no longer receive SDP or any other premium once they make a claim to UC. These premiums are not payable under UC regulations.

February 2019

Universal Credit Two-child Limit

From 1st February 2019, families with more than two children who make new claims for Universal Credit will no longer be directed to claim Child Tax Credit.

The two child limit will not apply to those families.

Those who have been awarded Universal Credit after April 20 May 17 and have two or fewer children but who then have a third or subsequent child will have the two-child limit applied.

Pension Credit Child allowances

From 1 February, people of Pension Credit age who are responsible for a dependent child or children, will receive help with the child or children in the form of dependent allowances paid within their Pension Credit award.  This is because you will no longer be able to make a new claim for Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit) if you are Pension Credit age.

April 2019

Universal Credit Work Allowance Increases

Work allowances are the amount of your earnings from employment that you are allowed to keep before it is taken into account as income for Universal Credit.  These will increase by £1000 for the year, meaning that people in work who have children or have limited capability for work (or their partner has limited capability for work) will benefit by up to £630 per year.

National Minimum Wage Increase

The National Living Wage will increase by 4.9% from £7.83 per hour to £8.21 per hour in April 2019.

The National Minimum Wage increases from £7.38 per hour to £7.70 per hour for people aged 21 to 24; and from £5.90per hour to £6.15per hour for people aged 18 to 20.

May 2019

Universal Credit and Mixed Aged Couples

From 16 May, couples where one partner is aged above Pension Credit age and the other is aged under Pension Credit age, will no longer be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit.  Instead they will have to claim Universal Credit.  Mixed aged couples on Pension Credit can continue to remain on Pension Credit as long as they continue to satisfy the other qualifying conditions for Pension Credit.