April2017 Welfare Changes
From 1 April 2017, new ESA claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group will receive the same rate of payment as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and the equivalent in #Universal Credit.
Benefit Cap exemption for Universal Credit claimants changing
From 1 April 2017 the earnings threshold that applies to the Benefit Cap exemption for Universal Credit claimants will be changed from a fixed amount of £430 per month to the amount claimants would earn if they (or one of them, if a couple) was working 16 hours per week at national minimum wage.
The change means that for example, after April 2017 a working Universal Credit claimant aged over 25 in receipt of the Housing element (who is not otherwise exempt from the Benefit Cap) would have to earn £520 instead of £430 per month to be exempt from the cap.
The same change will be applied to the earnings threshold for the 9 months grace period but will not affect people who have already started a grace period
- Welfare change -ESA permitted work limit removed
From 3 April 2017, ESA claimants who undertake permitted work and earn between £20 and £115.20 per week will no longer have to give up their work or stop claiming ESA after 52 weeks.
- Welfare change -ESA
From 3 April 2017, ESA claimants who are sanctioned will continue to receive 80% of their payments, instead of the current 60%. This change does not apply to ESA claimants who continue to receive the work-related activity component after 3 April 2017; they will remain subject to the 60% rate.
Tax Credits and Universal Credit two child limit
- Welfare Change-Tax & Universal Credits
In the summer budget 2015, the government proposed that support for children through Tax Credits and Universal Credit will be limited to two children from April 2017.
For Child Tax Credit, elements will not be included for a third (or more) child born on or after 6 April 2017 unless an exception applies. Elements will continue to be included for all children born before 6 April 2017.
For Universal Credit, elements will not be included for the third (or more) child who joins the family on or after 6 April 2017 unless an exception applies. Elements will continue to be included for all children who were part of the family before 6 April 2017. Families with more than two children cannot make a new claim for Universal Credit until November 2018, even if they are in a full digital service area. They will have to claim Child Tax Credit in the meantime.
- Welfare change-Universal Credit Housing Costs Element removed for young people
It was proposed in the summer budget 2015 that unemployed claimants aged under 21 would not have a Housing Costs Element included in their Universal Credit from April 2017 unless an exception applies