Benefit Changes Timetable - Benefit Changes Timetable 2019
Planned changes to the benefits system. This guide is updated every two months.
- Last reviewed 19 July 2023
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 rolling out of the full digital service of Universal Credit to all areas of the country was completed on 12 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 from July 2019. This process is known as managed migration. The Secretary of State has announced that they will begin by transferring around 10,000 people in 2019 as part of a pilot scheme. The pilot scheme will take place in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. They won’t start moving people over to Universal Credit in great numbers until the pilot scheme has been completed and assessed. 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.
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, except through managed migration. Managed migration is where the government transfers people from the existing system over to Universal Credit. Managed migration will be piloted in July 2019 for a few claimants, but doesn't get fully underway until the end of 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.
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 will not be able to get a child element included in their Universal Credit for a third or subsequent child who was born on or after 6 April 2017, unless an exception applies.
Pension Credit Child allowances
From 1 February, people at the age of 66 and over, and 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.
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 Gov.uk website.
Universal Credit and Mixed Aged Couples
From 15 May, couples where one partner is aged above 66 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.
Scotland’s new School Age Payment scheme will open for applications on 3 June 2019. This scheme will give grants of £250 for parents of children starting school.
From Summer 2019, the scheme will also open to parents of children aged 2 and 3.
This scheme is only open to people living in Scotland.
Universal Credit Managed Migration Pilot Starts
Benefit claimants in Harrogate in North Yorkshire will be the first to be transferred to Universal Credit by managed migration under a pilot scheme. Transitional protection will be available to those taking part in the pilot. Only once the pilot scheme has been completed and assessed, will claimants be moved over to Universal Credit in greater numbers.
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.
From Summer 2019, the Scottish government will take control of Funeral Expenses Payments. The Scottish government are planning to make sure that payments are processed more quickly than under the existing system and to simplify the rules on entitlement. This will only affect people who live in Scotland.
Universal Credit Advance Recovery Reduction
From October 2019, the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from Universal Credit will be reduced from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance of Universal Credit.
From Autumn 2019, young carers in Scotland will be able to apply for a Young Carer’s Grant. The grant will only be available for people living in Scotland and aged 16-17, or 18 if they are still at school.
Updated: October 2019