Universal credit and other benefits to rise from today - how to check you're not missing out
Millions will see benefit payments, such as universal credit and child benefit, rise from today under an uplift for the new financial year. If your family income is under £30,000 and you're not in receipt of any state support - it's worth spending 10 minutes to check if you're due benefits.
Under the increase, inflation-linked benefits and tax credits will rise from today (11 April) by 3.1% in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation in September 2021 - though this is less than the current 6.2% rate of CPI meaning the increases don't keep track with the rising cost of living. See our Cost of living crisis survival guide if you're struggling.
The state pension will also rise today by September's CPI inflation of 3.1%. Under the Government's triple lock arrangement the state pension usually increases each year in line with inflation, average earnings or 2.5% – whichever is highest. But this formula was suspended for the 2022/23 financial year with only the inflation and 2.5% measures being taken into account.
Key benefits being uprated include universal credit and housing benefits
We've included some examples of benefits and how much they have risen by below. For a full breakdown see the Government's list of benefit and pension rates for 2022/23.
Universal credit (different amounts are available for those with children, limited capability for work and carers)
- To £265.32 a month from £257.33 a month for a single person under the age of 25.
- To £334.91 a month from £324/84 a month for a single person aged 25 and above.
- To £416/45 a month from £403.93 a month for a couple where both are below the age of 25.
- To £525.75 a month from £509.91 a month for a couple where at least one is aged 25 and above.
Housing benefit (which is paid every four weeks)
- To £61.05 a week from £59.20 a week for a single person below the age of 25.
- To £77 a week from £74.70 a week for a single person aged 25 and over.
- To £61.05 a week from £59.20 a week for a lone parent under 18.
- To £77 a week from £74.70 a week for a lone parent over 18.
- To £92.20 a week from £89.45 a week for a couple who are both under 18.
- To £121.05 a week from £117.40 a week for a couple where one or both is over 18.
Child benefit (which is paid every four weeks)
- To £21.80 a week from £21.25 a week for the eldest child or an only child.
- To £14.45 a week from £14 a week for any additional children [on top of the basic allowance].
- To £182.60 a week from £177.10 a week for single people.
- To £278.70 a week from £270.30 a week for couples.
- To £141.95 a week from £137.60 a week for the basic rate.
- Or, to £185.15 a week from £179.60 a week for those who receive the full rate.
'I earn £34,000 but checked and I can get universal credit'
Our rule of thumb is that you should spend 10 minutes to do a benefits check if you earn less than £30,000, especially if you've children and/or you pay high rent (even a few earning up to £50,000 may get something). Do note, though, that not everyone earning this much will be entitled to anything, it's just worth the check, as these MoneySavers' stories highlight:
Hi Martin and the MSE team. Thanks for the heads-up on universal credit on your show. I applied on 1 December 2021 and am due a [first] payment of £282 in January 2022 - I earn £34,000, have one school-age child and privately rent. Honestly, I thought I'd maybe get £50 but was blown away. That will make a huge difference - like getting a £5,000 pay rise. Obviously £50/mth will go into my new Help to Save account - thanks for that tip too.
I've never applied for universal credit before but your email made me check. I was surprised you could earn £40,000/year as a couple and still qualify. We now get £80/month - thanks for helping us with the rise in the cost of living.
Sent your benefits calculator page to a friend of mine who used it and got a total refund of one years council tax & saving £70 a month.
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