March 2024 dates for advantages, pensions and price of dwelling funds | EUROtoday

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This month, it was confirmed that the UK formally entered a recession on the finish of 2023. The information got here shortly after figures put inflation regular at 4 per cent, beating the chances of one other rise – however nonetheless distant from the federal government’s goal of two per cent.

Against this grim financial backdrop, the price of dwelling disaster persists. Bills, meals costs and rents all stay stubbornly excessive as hundreds of thousands wrestle to afford the necessities.

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) reveals that in direction of the tip of final yr, 73 per cent of low-income households on Universal Credit skilled meals insecurity. One in six reported turning off their fridge or freezer in some unspecified time in the future to economize.

DWP fee dates and key cash data for March 2024

(PA Archive)

Here is a quick overview of the state monetary assist out there to low-income households this March and the dates on which advantages recipients can anticipate their cash to be paid out:

Benefits going out as normal

The normal advantages and pensions funds will probably be going out principally as regular in March. These are:

  • Universal Credit
  • State pension
  • Pension credit score
  • Disability dwelling allowance
  • Personal independence fee
  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Employment assist allowance
  • Income assist
  • Jobseeker’s allowance

However, in case your fee date falls on Good Friday (29 March), it is best to obtain your anticipated fee the day earlier than (28 March).

For extra data on how and when state advantages are paid, please go to the federal government’s web site.

Cost of dwelling fee

Despite ongoing monetary pressures, the federal government has not introduced any plans to increase its price of dwelling fee scheme past Febuary 2024.

Peter Matejic, Chief Analyst on the JRF, stated: “The Government’s cost of living payments gave families a short-term reprieve. Without them, they face an income safety net that offers no safety and the ever-rising cost of essentials like food and energy.”

If eligible, the ultimate price of dwelling fee of £299 must be paid to you between February 6, 2024 and February 22, 2024. People receiving sure advantages or tax credit had been eligible for the price of dwelling fee. These embrace: Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension cCedit, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit.

This fee follows a number of others made all through 2023:

  • £301 – First price of dwelling fee – issued between 25 April and 17 May (or 2 to 9 May for individuals on tax credit however no different low-income advantages)
  • £150 – Disability fee – issued between 20 June and 4 July
  • £300 – Second price of dwelling fee – issued between 31 October and 19 November for most individuals
  • £300 – Pensioner fee – issued November 2023

If you imagine you had been eligible for these funds however didn’t obtain them, it is best to contact the DWP.

Other assist out there as price of dwelling funds finish

Local council help

The authorities’s Household Support Fund (HSF) is ending on March 31. Depending on the place you reside, you should still have time to use.

The HSF is funding given to all native councils to assist weak households of their space. Councils are free to allocate the funds nevertheless they really feel is finest. For occasion, some have offered money grants, grocery store vouchers, or vitality invoice help. You might want to go to your native council’s web site to seek out out what assist should still be out there.

After the HSF deadline ends – with many councils already refusing new functions – assist should still be out there. Some councils are persevering with to supply discretionary help to struggling households of their areas.

To discover out what assist is out there to you, the End Furniture Poverty charity provide a useful help finder device.

Many native authorities have referred to as on the federal government to increase the HSF past the tip of March, however no announcment has been made to date.

Local Government Association spokesperson Cllr Pete Marland stated: “Now is not the time to scale back support. Many at-risk households continue to face considerable challenges in meeting essential living costs, with demand for support greater than when the fund was first introduced.”

Charitable grants

If you’re struggling financially, you might be eligible for sure charitable grants. There are a variety of grants out there relying in your circumstances. However, these grants will usually require you to satisfy particular standards and solely be capable to provide restricted funds.

Charitable grants can be found for people who find themselves disabled or in poor health, carers, bereaved, unemployed, college students – and lots of extra. The charity Turn2us has a web-based device to seek for grants which can be out there to you.

Energy supplier assist

Quite a few vitality suppliers provide assist for these battling their vitality payments. These embrace Scottish Power, EDF, E.ON and Octopus. It is value contacting your vitality supplier to seek out out if you’re eligible.

British Gas additionally provide a grant of as much as £2,000 to prospects of any vitality supplier. You might want to meet particular standards to be eligible, and might apply on the British Gas Energy Trust web site.

Energy Price Cap: Will it go up or down in 2024?

As of January 1, the Energy Price Cap is ready at £1928up from £1834 on the finish of 2023. Analysts at Cornwall Insight predict this determine will fall in April to £1,660, and once more in July to £1,590, earlier than rising once more to £1,639.97 within the last months of 2024.

The vitality worth cap is the utmost quantity vitality suppliers can cost you for every unit of vitality when you’re on an ordinary variable tariff. That consists of most households. It is expressed as an annual invoice for a median dwelling.

The current decline in costs is reflective of current drops in wholesale vitality prices – the quantity vitality corporations pay for his or her electrical energy and fuel earlier than supplying it to households. Although it’s a important slide from the record-high charges of the final two years, the determine stays virtually £1,000 a yr above pre-pandemic ranges.

Are advantages and pensions going up in 2024?

Benefits and state pension are set to extend in April 2024.

In his autumn assertion, Jeremy Hunt that advantages are going to be elevated by the September fee of inflation of 6.7 per cent. He additionally introduced that state pensions will probably be elevated by 8.5 per cent across the identical time.

However, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has warned that failure to boost the advantages cap will push extra individuals past its threshold, that means a real-terms minimize for a lot of.

Have you been affected by the inflation enhance or have a narrative to share about your expertise throughout the price of dwelling disaster? Get in contact through e-mail: