Benefit Changes Timetable 2018
Please note that information about some of these changes may be limited at present and also subject to further change. Although some will happen quickly, others may be introduced gradually over several years.
If you are worried about how you may be affected you should discuss this with a benefits adviser. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find one in your area.
Employer Childcare Vouchers no longer available to new claimants
New claims for Employer Supported Childcare (Childcare Vouchers) will not be accepted from April 2018. 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.
Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments
The government announced in the summer budget 2015 that from April 2018, new SMI payments will be paid as a loan. Loans will be repaid upon sale of a claimant's house, or when claimants return to work.
Self-Employed National Insurance Contributions change
The government announced in the Spring Budget 2017 that from April 2018, self-employed people will no longer pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions, which currently count towards entitlement to contributory benefits such as New State Pension.
The government announced that the rate for Class 4 National Insurance Contributions will be raised to 10% in April 2018 and 11% in April 2019. Clarification is awaited regarding how Class 4 National Insurance Contributions will count towards contributory benefit entitlement.
Universal Credit two child limit
From November 2018, families with more than two children who make new claims for Universal Credit will no longer be directed to claim Child Tax Credit instead. The two child limit will apply to those families. Families who have been awarded Universal Credit after April 2017 and have two or fewer children but who then have a third or subsequent child will have the two-child limit applied.
Universal Credit roll out
The phased introduction of Universal Credit has been pushed back numerous times. The government now expect to have Universal Credit available for all new claimants from July 2019. They expect that all claimants on existing benefits will be transferred onto Universal Credit by March 2022. See our Universal Credit Timetable to keep up with the progress of the roll out.