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Topic Benefits advice

Read weekly blogs from benefits advisor Tom. Post questions, share experiences around financial support in the conversations, message Tom privately or book an online ‘live chat’ session.

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April increases and other changes

Started by Tombenefits   on 03 April 2018 at 14:27
Edited on 03 April 2018 at 15:09



New benefit rates apply from next week. There are a few small announcements around some changes but the biggest impact in coming months may be the final arrival of the long ago announced UC in your area.

1. April benefit increases

As ever, it's two different stories depending on whether you are of "pension age" or "working age". 

With pension age benefits, most are protected at or close to the rate of inflation with a 3 % increase meaning your benefits stand still in real terms

But only some "working age" benefits are protected from a general freeze in operation since April 2016. The good news is that the protections extend to many benefits of most interest to people affected by cancer.

The less good news is that often this is only partial protection so your overall increase might only be 1% . But there's also some better news for carers in Scotland.

You should have received news of your new rates and there is no need to do anything. 

But if in doubt about the sums or you wonder if there might be anything else that may hep in belt tightening times do message me


2. Other changes

With the budget having moved to last November there are less new announcements or rabbits out of hats this April.

 - the last of the measures to help with the long wait for your first Universal Credit payment comes into force this month

 - the Government are not proceeding with restrictions on 18 to 21 year olds getting hel with rent under UC 

However, the biggest impact is a change long ago announced, but only now rolling out to all areas.

The plan is that by December 2018, all areas will have become Full Service Universal Credit areas. You can see the lates scedule here

But don't panic nothing immediate will happen if you are already receiving one of the legacy benefits that is merging into UC. 

And So...

For more details about the benefit uprating, good news for carers in Scotland, the other April changes and the roll out of Universal Credit..., please see the accompanying Benefits Blog available here

But please then join this Conversation and post below to share general comments, experiences and queries with fellow Centre visitors.

Or for a quiet word in private around any concerns for you from the above, to check your benefits or advice on what to do about UC, please feel free to message me. 

Best wishes,



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