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Benefit Changes Timetable - Benefit Changes Timetable 2019

Benefit Changes Timetable 2019

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.


Universal Credit Roll-out

The phased introduction of Universal Credit has been pushed back numerous times. The government expects the full digital service of Universal Credit to be rolled out to all areas of the country by the end of December 2018 for new claims or for people having to make a new claim due to a change of circumstance.

The government plans to start transferring a few people from the existing benefits or tax credits onto Universal Credit until July 2019. The Secretary of State has announced that they will not transfer more than 10,000 people in 2019. They won’t start moving people over to Universal Credit in great numbers until 2020.  They plan to complete this process, known as managed migration, by December 2023. See our Universal Credit Timetable to keep up with the progress of the roll out.

January 2019

Severe Disability Premium and Universal Credit

Claimants receiving the Severe Disability Premium will not be able to move on to Universal Credit, except through managed migration.  Managed migration is where the government transfers people from the existing system over to Universal Credit.  Managed migration starts in July 2019 for a few claimants, but gets fully underway from September 2020.   

People moved over to Universal Credit by 'managed migration' will not be worse off when they are transferred.   If they are entitled to less under Universal Credit than under the benefits that are being replaced by it, they will receive a ‘transitional amount’ to top up their Universal Credit to the same amount, under managed migration.

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 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.

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.  

However if you are a worker who  has no children or you or your partner have not been assessed as having limited capability for work, you will still not receive help in the form of work allowances.

National Minimum Wage Increase

The National Living Wage will increase by 4.9% from £7.83per 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.  There is more information about the National Minimum Wage on the website.

Self-Employed National Insurance Contributions change

From April 2019, 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. Clarification is awaited regarding how Class 4 National Insurance Contributions will count towards contributory benefit entitlement.

July 2019

Self-employed Minimum Income Floor Grace Period

Self-employed people whose earnings are low, may have their Universal Credit worked out on higher earnings than they have.  This is called the Minimum Income Floor.  If you have started your business within the last 12 months then the minimum income floor does not affect you for the first 12 months of your Universal Credit claim.  The government have announced that they will extend this 12-month ‘grace period’ to all people who are gainfully self-employed.

However, this will only apply to people who have been transferred over to Universal Credit by managed migration from July 2019 at the earliest.  Self-employed people who make a new Universal Credit claim or have a change of circumstance which moves them on to Universal Credit, will not benefit from this change until September 2020.

October 2019

Universal Credit Advance Recovery Reduction

From October 2019, the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from Universal Credit, to repay an advance payment, will be reduced from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance of Universal Credit.

The period over which advances can be recovered will be extended from 12 to 16 months, from October 2021.

Updated: November 2018






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