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Benefit Changes Timetable - Benefit Changes Timetable 2022

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

Last reviewed 26 September 2023

Benefit Changes Timetable 2022

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.

February - March 2022

5 February 2022: Reduction of period during which new claimants to Universal Credit and Jobseeker's Allowance can restrict their job search to fields in which they had previous experience. Until Feb 2022, new claimants could restrict their job search to favoured fields for 13 weeks. This has been reduced to 4 weeks, after which people will be expected to apply for any job. This is not a requirement to get a job within four weeks of claiming Universal Credit or Jobseeker's Allowance.

8 February 2022: Expansion of Northern Ireland Welfare Mitigation scheme to cover more households affected by the bedroom tax or Benefit Cap

10 February 2022: Expansion of Welfare Supplementary Payments scheme in Northern Ireland. All families with children who are affected by benefit cap will get a welfare supplementary payment to eliminate the effect of the cap. All people affected by the bedroom tax will get a welfare supplementary payment. 

15 February 2022: People with a terminal illness are exempt from the requirement to accept a claimant commitment for Universal Credit. The definition of terminal illness is still a reasonable expectation that the claimant will die within the next six months. 

Providers for all Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments are now able to provide recordings. This applies whether the assessment took place in person or over the phone. PIP applicants still need to request in advance that a recording is made. Anyone who wants a recording should contact their assessment provider before the assessment.

Wales: £200 energy grant scheme: Applications close 28 February 2022.

Northern Ireland energy grant scheme. Applications close 31 March 2022. 

21 March 2022: Introduction of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland for new claimants to disability benefits in Perth and Kinross, City of Dundee and the Western Isles. 

31 March 2022: Closure of English councils' Household Support Fund schemes.

April 2022

Annual uprating to benefits at beginning of financial year.

England, Scotland and Wales are all making £150 cost of living payments through the council tax system. The schemes are different in each country. England scheme Scotland scheme Wales scheme

The definition of terminal illness for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit in England, Wales and Scotland will be changed. Terminal illness was defined as a doctor reasonably expecting that their patient might die within 6 months. This is changing to 12 months. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) plans to change the definition for other disability benefits too. However, this will take longer and will not happen in April 2022. (NB: for Scotland's Adult and Child Disability Payment, terminal illness has no timeframe. In Northern Ireland, the definition of terminal illness has been changed from 6 to 12 months for all benefits.)

Scottish Child Payment is to double from £10 per week to £20 per week. 

The Household Support Fund in England has been extended to March 2023. Contact your council to find out more.

19 April 2022 - children in families with No Recourse to Public Funds can be entitled to Free School Meals if their parents' income is low. Contact councils to find out more.

26 April 2022 - DWP to stop taking deductions from benefits for ongoing consumption of fuel. An exception can be made if the claimant requests it.

April 2022 - assorted changes have been made to enable Ukrainian refugees to be able to claim benefits in the UK and exempting them from waiting periods. Changes have also been made to ensure that the benefits and council tax of people hosting refugees under the Homes for Ukraine scheme are not affected.

Easter 2022

Scotland to pay £130 to families in receipt of Free School Meals.

Summer 2022

From 9 May 2022 Managed Migration is restarting. This is the process of moving people off legacy benefits and onto Universal Credit. Initially, it is being piloted in Medway and Bolton.

Wales to make £500 payment to carers who were in receipt of Carer's Allowance on 31 March 2022. Deadline to register is 15 July 2022. Registration is through local councils. 

Scotland to pay £130 to families in receipt of Free School Meals.

June 2022

Opening of Northern Ireland child funeral fund. 

20 June 2022: Introduction of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland for new claimants to disability benefits in Angus, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

Announcement of new grant for unpaid carers in Wales. Grant to be administered by Carers Trust Wales. Applications not yet open. 

July 2022

Northern Ireland to pay £13.50 per eligible child per week to families on free school meals between 1 July and 31 August.

25 July 2022: Introduction of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland for new claimants to disability benefits in Fife, City of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire.

From 14 July, first payments of £326 cost of living support payment to people in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit, income-related ESA, income-based JSA and Income Support (NB: Tax Credits recipients will get the payment in September). Second payments will go out in autumn, dates TBC.

Universal Credit expanded to Falmouth and Truro

August 2022

Scotland to begin transferring adults in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) onto Scottish Adult Disability Payment.

29 August Adult Disability Payment opens for new applications across all of Scotland.

Universal Credit expanded to London Borough of Harrow

September 2022

6 September - existing PIP awards awaiting review have their automatic extension period increased from 3 months to 12 months. 

Payments of £326 cost of living support payment to people in receipt of Tax Credit, but not Income Support, income-related ESA or income-based JSA. 

Universal Credit expanded to Northumberland

26 September - increase in Administrative Earnings Threshold to £494 per month for single people and £782 per month for couples.

Payments of £150 cost of living support payment to people in receipt of disability benefits.

26 September - Wales launches £200 energy bill support scheme for people in receipt of , disability benefits, or carers benefits. Payments are through councils.

October 2022

Survivors of modern slavery and domestic violence exempt from shared room rate of LHA.

Scotland to pay £130 to families in receipt of Free School Meals.

Payment of first monthly instalments of £400 energy bill support. Different suppliers are paying this in different ways. 

November 2022

6 Nov National Insurance goes down by 1.25 percentage points.

8-23 November - payments of second cost of living payment of £324 for people in receipt of Universal Credit, income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support and Pension Credit.

14 November Scottish Child Payment increases to £25 per week, and expanded to families in Scotland with children under 16.

 

December 2022

Likely payment of second cost of living payment of £324 to people in receipt of tax credits and no other income-related benefit.

Scotland to pay £260 to families in receipt of Free School Meals.

Payment of £300 cost of living support payment to pensioners.

£400 to be taken off energy bills for almost all households. There are some exceptions for those whose bills are included in their rent, and people who live in park homes.

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