Benefit Changes Timetable - Benefit Changes Timetable 2020

Planned changes to the benefits system. This guide is updated every two months.

Last reviewed 19 July 2023

Benefit Changes Timetable 2020

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.


From 2020, Disability Benefits in Scotland were supposed to be changing. The Scottish government was planning take over responsibility for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance. Because of disruption caused by coronavirus, the Scottish government has decided to delay this. 

This will only affect people who live in Scotland.


In March 2020, an outbreak of coronavirus meant that many businesses had to close. This had a big effect on people's incomes and a range of changes were made. You can read about what to do in your situation in our coronavirus information pages.

  • Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme: This is a scheme where the government helps employers to pay their employees' salaries. Individuals can only access this scheme through their employers.
  • Self Employed Income Support Scheme: This is a scheme to where the government pays self-employed people a percentage of their usual profits. 
  • Increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit: Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit standard allowances were both temporarily increased by £1,000 per year.
  • Changes to (LHA) rates: LHA rates, which affect how much help people in private rented accommodation can get with their rent, were increased to reflect the lower 30% of the rental market in each area in the UK.
  • Suspension of : The , which affects self-employed people claiming Universal Credit, was suspended to November 2020 and this was then extended to April 2021.

April 2020

Benefit freeze ending

The freeze which has kept most working-age benefits at the same level for the past four years, came to an end in April 2020. Most benefits have been increased by 1.3 percent. 

National Minimum Wage Increase

The National Living Wage (for workers aged 25 and over) has increased by 6.2% to £8.72 per hour.  The National Minimum wage increases to £8.20 per hour for 21-24 year olds, £6.45 per hour for 18-20 year olds and £4.55 for under 18s. The National Minimum Wage rate for apprentices rises to £4.15 per hour. There is more information about the National Minimum Wage on the website.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

The government introduced a new legal entitlement to two weeks’ leave for employees who suffer the death of a child under 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period if they meet the qualifying conditions.  

June 2020

The free TV licence will no longer be available to all people 75 or over.  From 1 August 2020, you will have to be aged 75 or over and getting Pension Credit in order to qualify for the free licence -  although there has been an extension for some people who were already getting a free TV licence. You can find out more information from the TV Licensing website.

July 2020

Claimants will receive an additional fortnight’s worth of Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support if they are on one of these benefits when they move over to Universal Credit

Winter 2020

From the 27 November of 2020, the Scottish government is planning to extend Winter Heating Assistance (which will replace the Winter Fuel Payment in Scotland) to families with severely disabled children

Claims for the new Scottish Child Payment are due to open in mid- to late- November, in preparation for the scheme beginning in February 2021.

Updated: November 2020


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