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Saturday 30th May 2020

Universal Credit and other benefits increase in boost for households during coronavirus pandemic

Increases in effect from April 1

A number of benefits increase today after a five-year freeze, including Universal Credit and child tax credit.

From today (April 1), around 2.5 million households across the UK receiving Universal Credit and other payments will be 1.7 per cent better off.

Universal Credit and other benefits increase today in a welcome boost for households during the coronavirus pandemic (Credit: SplashNews.com)

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Announced in October last year, the rise is coming into effect with a string of extra measures, due Monday (April 6), to support Brits during the coronavirus pandemic.

A rise of 1.7 per cent

All the UK working age benefits have gone up, among them Universal Credit and legacy payments.

Legacy payments are benefits from before the rollout of Universal Credit.

This includes employment and support allowance (ESA), jobseeker's allowance (JSA), housing benefit, working tax credits, child tax credits and child benefit.

Brits can no longer apply for them, although some who are yet to move over to Universal Credit still get them.

Measures to help families struggling in the pandemic

Maternity and disability payments are also going up.

Just how much a household's benefits will rise depends on the amount it receives each month.

As an example, a household that gets £1000 will have an extra £17 added to payments.

The way the DWP calculates Housing benefit has changed (Credit: Pixabay)

The way Housing benefit is calculated has also changed. From today, the DWP will include more expensive homes when it sets the limit for private renters claiming benefits.

On Monday next week, a number of other benefits are set to go up. This includes temporary measures to help those struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state pension will go up by 3.9 per cent. The rise equates to as much as £6.60 a week, to a maximum weekly payment of £175.20 for the new financial year.

Other increases from April 6

Similarly the standard allowance, which is what everyone accepted onto Universal Credit is entitled to, will go up £20 per week during the next 12 months.

The government has temporarily scrapped the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor for self-employed people (Credit: Pixabay)

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This means an extra £1000 for the coming year.

Working tax credit will likewise go up by £20 a week. That's in addition to the rise linked to inflation.

The government is also getting rid of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor (MIF) temporarily. This is to help self-employed workers losing income because of having to self-isolate or due to the lockdown.

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