Welfare Reform – 6 Highlights from our report
We have recently compiled a document of all the Welfare Reform changes that have occurred, or will be happening this year. As some of these aren’t the most accessible, we thought it would be handy if we post a short summary of some of the changes on our blog for all of you to have a look at, after all, we should all know if there will be any changes to the income we rely on.
1) Changes to the State Retirement Pension
The new State Pension will be based on your National Insurancerecord alone, if you’re already receiving it, don’t worry, the changes will not affect you.
To receive the new maximum State Pension you need a 35 year NI record. The new amount is £155.65 a week.
2) Changes to State Retirement Age
By October 2020, the age is planned to be changed to 66 for both men and women. There is a plan to raise this to 67 by 2028.
3) Changes to National Living Wage
If you’re a working person over 25, you should be being paid at least £7.20 per hour. Make sure to check your wage slip to check that you are being paid at least this – it’s the new minimum hourly rate.
4) Changes to Working Tax Credit
HMRC say you’ll soon be able to do this online at https://www.gov.uk/changes-affect-tax-credits
5) Housing Costs: Changes to calculations
The government reduced the level of earnings at which the Universal Credit award starts to be withdrawn for every additional £1 earned. The Universal Credit Work Allowance will drop to £397 a month for households without housing costs, £192 per month for those with housing costs and removed altogether for non-disabled people without children.
6) Changes to sickness and disability benefits
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in 2013 as a replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age people with care and mobility needs. Initially, PIP was restricted to new claimants, but eventually all DLA claimants will be assessed for PIP instead.
If you receive a letter ‘inviting’ you to claim PIP, it’s important that you don’t ignore it! Your DLA could stop and there will be a break in your claim and payment, this is easily avoidable by claiming PIP instead.
Feel free to contact us to see how else you could be affected by upcoming changes, or ones that have already happened by contacting us at any of our locations. You can also use our social media channels Facebook or Twitter to contact us.
Working with North Liverpool Citizens Advice we have produced a booklet to help Knowsley residents to understand Welfare Reform.
We have shared that booklet in public places including libraries, council buildings and housing associations.
We have also produced an information YouTube clip on Universal Credit so that people can find out about how it affects them.
In the future we hope to record more clips to help people to understand the welfare changes that are coming which might affect them.