Benefits Customer news Hampshire

Benefits freeze comes to an end

The benefits freeze which has kept most working-age benefits at the same level for the past four years, is due to come to an end in April 2020. The freeze was introduced by the government in April 2016, keeping benefits at the same rate for four years rather than increasing in line with inflation to match the cost of living.

Universal Credit was part of the freeze, and so if you receive this you’ll see your payments increase by 1.7%. If you receive the basic weekly allowance for a single person of £73.10 (or £114.85 per couples), you’ll see your income rise to £74.35 (or £116.80 per couple) per week.

And if you claim the basic monthly rate of Universal Credit for a single person of £317.82 (or £498.89 per couple) you’ll see your income rise to £323.22 (or £507.37 per couple).

If you’re still claiming legacy benefits (job seeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, housing benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit), you’ll also get more money.

You can’t usually make a new claim for any of the legacy benefits anymore, but you may still receive them before you’re moved over to Universal Credit - read our Universal Credit booklet (PDF 645kb) for helpful information about making a claim if you need to.

Pension credit, maternity pay, and disability benefits were excluded from the benefits freeze, but will also increase by 1.7%. And state pension will increase by 3.9% in April.

Check that you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to and how changes in your household budget can affect your income by using our benefits calculator.