A number of changes to the Benefit system are expected to take effect in April 2017 and we will be updating relevant pages of this website with details of these as they become available.
Tax Credit and Universal Credit support for families with more than 2 children
In the summer budget of 2015 the Government stated that they would be limiting support to families to 2 children.
- This will apply to Child Tax Credit if a third or subsequent child is born after 6th April 2017 with some exceptions.
- It will apply to Universal Credit when a new claim is made after 6th April 2017
Detailed regulations for these provisions are not yet available but it is expected that the exceptions will be for cases of multiple births and rape.
Tax Credits and Universal Credit for families
The Government plan to abolish the family element and the 1st child addition in the Universal Credit calculation (both worth £10.50 per week) where the first child is born after April 2017. It will continue to be paid to families whose first child is born before this date.
Universal Credit and Income Support Work conditionality for parents
From April 2017 parents whose youngest child is aged 3 or 4 will be expected to look for work as a condition of getting Universal Credit. If they are claiming Income Support they will be transferred to Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit.
Parents whose youngest child is aged 2 and who get Universal Credit will be expected to do work preparation.
The first work focused interview is expected from when the youngest child reaches 1
Those parents who are too ill to work can claim on the basis of their health problems as an alternative.
Reduction in payment for ESA work-related activity group claimants
The additional weekly sum paid in ESA and in Universal Credit to people in the work related vivacity group will be removed for people making new claims for ESA after April 2017. The loss in benefit is £29.05 per week for this client group.
Universal Credit and Job Seekers Allowance youth obligation
6 months after starting their claim young people will either have to apply for training or apprenticeships or attend a work placement.
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit housing costs for under 21s
There will be new provisions to restrict the level of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit housing costs paid to under 21s. Only those who are
- unable to live with their parents or
- who are parents themselves will be able to claim Housing Benefit.
If they have been working for at least 6 months before claiming Housing Benefit they will be able to get Housing Benefit for 6 months.
Bereavement Support Payment
The current bereavement benefits system will be replaced with a new system of Bereavement Support Payments for new claims from April 2017. Payment of the new benefit will be limited to a 12 month period.
Bereavement Support Payment will not affect Universal Credit entitlement and will not be included in the benefit cap.