After years of stagnation, Universal credit payments will increase from today.
Around 2.5million people are set to benefit from the rise in the UK, the Government said.
The increase was announced last April and based on September’s inflation rate of 1.7 per cent.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown measures, the Government is also increasing Universal Credit by £1,000 a year for 12 months.
Here's everything you need to know about the latest update to the benefit payments.
What is Universal Credit?
It is a payment to help those out of work, or on a low income, with living costs.
Payments are made monthly, or twice a month for those living in Scotland.
Universal Credit replaces Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.
If you previously received any of these benefits you do not need to do anything to move across to Universal Credit unless your circumstances have changed or you get contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
You are not eligible for Universal credit if you claim or are entitled to the severe disability premium.
What changes are being made?
This is the first time since 2015 that benefits have risen.
Most will increase by 1.7 per cent, however Universal Credit will go up by more due to changes in response to coronavirus.
For one year the government is increasing Universal Credit by £1,000 which works out at about £80 extra per month. This will apply to all new and existing claimants.
How will that affect payments?
Single claimant under 25 who were previously on £251.77 a month will receive £342.72.
Whereas single claimant 25 or over will go up to £409.89 from £317.82.
Joint claimants both under 25 will see an increase from £395.20 a month to £488.59 and joint claimants over 25 - from £498.89 a month to £594.04.