FINANCE: Benefits changes explained

Benefits like universal credit, disability payments and the state pension provide an essential source of income for the more than 22 million people claiming them in the UK. As the new financial year begins, it is important to understand how some benefits are changing.

PIP in Scotland

If you live in Scotland and currently receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this will move to Social Security Scotland from summer 2022. Before this change takes place you will receive a letter from the DWP to confirm the move and inform you exactly when it will happen. Once this change takes place, you will receive Adult Disability Payment but there will be no gaps in your payments while this takes place. 

Accounts

In April and November 2022, anyone getting certain benefits paid into a Post Office Account will no longer be able to get payments into these due to the accounts closing. People in receipt of Child Benefit or Tax Credits are advised to change arrangements by April while people receiving Universal Credit and State Pension payments will have to make this change by November. 

Rates

Beginning in April both the new and old State Pension weekly rates will increase, giving people in receipt of the benefit between £2.55 and £5.55 more per week depending on their category. This will provide some recipients with more than £280 more from their pensions for the 2022/23 financial year. 

Other benefits including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Carers Allowance and more will also see a small rise in weekly rates. 

Timeframes

As the weekly rates for many benefits change, some eligibility criteria will also advance. From April the definition of terminal illness for Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit will be changed. Currently, terminal illness is defined as a doctor reasonably expecting their patient might die within six months, this will be changed to 12 months under the new criteria. It is expected that this change will be made for other benefits over the next two years.  

Keep up to date with changes to the benefits system through Disability Rights UK, Turn2Us or directly from the UK Government.

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