DWP advantages information: April 2024 dates for price of residing cost, Universal Credit and pensions | EUROtoday

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As the price of residing disaster persists, hundreds of thousands proceed to battle to pay their payments, afford the necessities and even preserve a roof over their heads.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s spring Budget introduced some adjustments aimed to extend family incomes, together with a 2p National Insurance tax minimize, adjustments to the Child Benefit, and an extension to the Household Support Fund.

However, some specialists have expressed considerations that the chancellor’s new measures unfairly profit increased earners. The NI minimize will profit these incomes £50,000 or extra essentially the most, in response to the Resolution Foundation suppose tank.

The authorities’s newest annual figures on low-income households additionally paint a bleak image of the UK’s financial scenario. They present absolute poverty has elevated for 2 years in a row, with practically one million extra folks poverty in 2022/23 than in 21/22.

The economic system took a constructive flip when inflation dropped to three.4 per cent in March – the bottom stage for the reason that finish of 2021. However, this doesn’t imply costs are going again to what they have been two and a half years in the past, simply that they’re rising much less quick.

Against these tough financial circumstances, right here is an summary of the monetary help obtainable to low-income households this April and key dates for advantages recipients to look out for:

Benefits going out as ordinary

The ordinary advantages and pensions funds will likely be going out largely as regular in March. These are:

  • Universal Credit
  • State pension
  • Pension credit score
  • Child profit
  • Disability residing allowance
  • Personal independence cost
  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Employment help allowance
  • Income help
  • Jobseeker’s allowance

However, in case your cost date falls on Good Friday (29 March) or Easter Monday (1 April) it is best to obtain your anticipated cost the on the final Thursday of March (28 March).

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

A report from Policy in Practice final 12 months reveals that just about £19bn in advantages goes unclaimed a 12 months – they provide a useful calculator to work out what you is perhaps entitled to.

Have you been affected by the problems on this story? Get in contact by way of e mail: albert.toth@impartial.co.uk

Household help fund

In the spring Budget, Jeremy Hunt confirmed the Household Support Fund (HSF) can be prolonged for six months past the unique 31 March deadline.

The HSF is funding given to all native councils to help weak households of their space. Councils are free to allocate the funds nonetheless they really feel is finest.

For occasion, some have offered money grants, grocery store vouchers, or power invoice help. You might want to go to your native council’s web site to seek out out what assist should still be obtainable.

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

Other assist obtainable

Budgeting advance loans

The authorities provides a ‘budgeting advance loan’ for folks on Universal Credit who face an emergency lack of cash. Prior to the price range, the reimbursement interval for these loans was 12 months. It has now been doubled to 2 years.

These loans are interest-free, and mechanically deducted from Universal Credit funds. You can borrow an ‘advance’ of as much as:

  • £348 when you’re single
  • £464 when you’re a part of a pair
  • £812 you probably have kids

Charitable grants

If you’re struggling financially, chances are you’ll be eligible for sure charitable grants. There are a variety of grants obtainable relying in your circumstances.

However, these grants will sometimes require you to fulfill particular standards and solely have the ability to supply restricted funds.

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

Energy supplier assist

Various power suppliers supply assist for these combating their power payments. These embody Scottish Power, EDF, E.ON and Octopus. It is value contacting your power supplier to seek out out if you’re eligible.

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

Council tax discount

If you meet sure standards or are on sure advantages, you might be able to apply for a reduction in your council tax low cost of as much as 100 per cent.

Your native council should still have the ability to give you a discretionary discount if you’ll be able to display you’re dealing with extreme hardship and might’t afford to pay your council tax.

To apply for a council tax discount, you may contact your native council by way of the federal government’s web site.

Up to 30 hours free childcare

All working mother and father within the UK are at present entitled to 30 hours of free childcare for kids aged 3 to 4. From April 1, this entitlement will broaden to incorporate 15 hours of free childcare for 2-year-olds.

You should apply on-line and reconfirm your eligibility each three months, in time for every college time period. Working mother and father may also apply for tax-free childcare, giving again 20p for each 80p you place in direction of childcare, as much as a most of £500 a 12 months.

There are two extra expansions to free childcare deliberate within the coming years:

  • September 2024: All kids from the age of 9 months can obtain 15 hours of free childcare.
  • September 2025: All kids underneath 5 can obtain 30 hours of free childcare.

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

The power worth cap is ready to drop to £1,690 from 1 Aprildown £238 from the January cap of £1,928.

Analysts on the trusted Cornwall Insight predict this determine will fall in July to £1,462.86, however rise once more barely in October to £1,590.

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

The current decline in costs is reflective of current drops in wholesale power prices – the quantity power companies pay for his or her electrical energy and fuel earlier than supplying it to households.

Although it’s a vital slide from the record-high charges of the final two years, the determine stays nearly £1,000 a 12 months 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 likely be elevated by 8.5 per cent across the identical time.

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