Published On: Tue, Dec 10th, 2019

Universal Credit 2020: What will be changing to the benefit next year? Payments will rise | Personal Finance | Finance

The biggest change to Universal Credit next year will be the end of the increase in payment amounts. The government announced in 2015 that it would no longer increase benefits payments in line with prices – meaning that the payments didn’t go up, despite inflation affecting the cost of living.

What is the Universal Credit payment amount? How much do claimants get?

The Universal Credit payment amount is dependent on a person’s circumstances – such as whether the claim is for a single person or a couple, and whether the claimant or their partner are 25 or older, or not.

Claimants may also be able to get certain additional amounts, depending on their situation.

This includes if they have children, need help paying their rent, or have a disability or health condition which prevents them from working.

Circumstances of each claimant are assessed each month, and what they are paid may change.

Are Universal Credit claimants eligible for any other cash?

Claimants can open a Help To Save account, which allows certain people to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 that they save over a period of four years.

At the end of the second and fourth years, the saver can get the tax-free bonuses, which are based on how much has been saved. This could amount to £1200 free cash.

For those struggling to make ends meet, there is the Cold Weather Payment, which runs from November 1 2019 to March 31 2020. 

A payment can be made if the average temperature in the eligible person’s area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days. The Cold Weather Payment is £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather during the time in which the scheme runs.

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