Universal Credit Advance
Prior to January 2018 the maximum advance was up to 50% of a customer’s first months entitlement, which was repayable over 6 months. From January 2018, the amount a customer can receive will increase up to 100%, repayable over a 12 month period from ongoing universal Credit entitlement.
Universal Credit waiting days
From February 2018, there will no longer be a 7 day waiting period for any new claim for Universal Credit, this means that the claim will start from the date the application was made.
Universal Credit transition from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit
From April 2018, customers already receiving Housing Benefit and transition to Universal Credit will receive a two week overlapping payment for both housing Benefit and Universal Credit. This will be unrecoverable from the customer.
Universal Credit in Temporary Accommodation
From April 2018 all customers living in Temporary Accommodation will have their Housing Costs met through Housing Benefit.
Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments
From 6 April 2018, the government is abolishing Support for Mortgage Interest as a benefit for new or existing customers.
As an alternative customer will be invited to apply for a loan. The loans will be repaid upon the sale of a claimant’s house; or on a claimant’s return to work if the borrower can afford it.
Employer Childcare Vouchers will no longer be available to new claimants
From April 2018, new claims for Employer Supported Childcare will not be accepted.
Existing claims will continue until the child is 15 years old (or 16 years old if disabled) or the claimant starts claiming under another scheme (Childcare element of Working Tax Credit, Childcare element of Universal Credit or Tax Free Childcare), whichever is earliest.
Tax allowances and thresholds
The amount of income a person can earn before paying tax will increase from £11,500 to £11,850 in April 2018.
The basic tax rate will be payable on taxable income up to £34,500 and the higher rate threshold will be set at £46,350.
The Marriage Allowance allows you to transfer up to 10% of your unused personal allowance to your partner, reducing your tax bill by up to £230 a year in 2018-19.
State Pensions and benefits
The old State Pension and new State Pension will be increased by 3% from April 2018, a cash increase of £3.65 a week and £4.80 a week respectively.
The standard rate of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit will increase by £3.65 a week for a single person and by £5.55 a week for couples from April 2018.
Pension Credit Savings Credit will increase by 20p a week for a single person and by 9p a week for couples from April 2018.