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Future changes which may affect you

This is a rolling timetable of expected changes to the benefits, tax credits and social care system

From April 2017

  • From 6 April 2017 it will be illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users. Read more on GovUK site

  • Bereavement support payment replaces current bereavement benefit system. See Bereavement Support Payment regulations 2017

  • New ESA claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group will receive the same rate of benefit as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, alongside additional support to help them take steps back to work. The equivalent limited capability for work element will be abolished from Universal Credit. See SI 2017/204

  • Those aged 18 to 21 who are on Universal Credit, in full digital UC areas, will have to apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship, gain work-based skills, or go on a work placement 6 months after the start of their claim. Apart from certain exceptions (those considered vulnerable) they will not be allowed to claim Housing Benefit/UC housing costs element. See Summer Budget 2015 page

  • Those starting a family after April 2017 will no longer be eligible for the Family Element in Tax Credits. See Summer Budget 2015 page

  • Universal Credit first child premium will not be available for new claims after April 2017, where the first child is born after 6 April 2017. See Summer Budget 2015 page and DWP Secretary of State Damian Green's statement

  • Universal Credit earnings taper will be reduced from 65% to 63%. See autumn statement 2016

  • In households with two or more children any subsequent children born after April 2017 will not be eligible for further Tax Credits support (there will be some exceptions). See DWP Secretary of State Damian Green's statement. Equivalent changes will be made to the Universal Credit and Housing Benefit rules. See Summer Budget 2015 page

  • Parents with a youngest child aged 3 or older (including lone parents) who are able to work will be expected to look for work if they are claiming Universal Credit. See Summer Budget 2015 page

  • New apprenticeship levy, at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. A £15,000 allowance for employers will mean that the levy will only be paid on employers’ pay bills over £3 million. See DfE Guidance

  • People in residential care in Wales will be allowed to keep £30,000 savings. See Welsh Government press release

  • Tax Credits Digital claiming services begin. See autumn statement 2016

  • Personal tax allowance will rise to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold to £45,000. See autumn statement 2016

  • National Living Wage (NLW) will rise from £7.20 to £7.50. See autumn statement 2016

  • National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise from April 2017 for the following:

    • increase the rate for 21 to 24 year olds from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour
    • increase the rate for 18 to 20 year olds from £5.55 to £5.60 per hour 
    • increase the rate for 16 to 17 year olds from £4.00 to £4.05 per hour
    • increase the rate for apprentices from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour

    See autumn statement 2016

From September 2017

  • Northern Ireland will launch a phased start up of Universal Credit new claimants from 25th September 2017.. See our universal credit factsheet

From April 2018

  • New Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) will be paid as a loan, to be repaid upon sale of your house, or when you return to work. See Summer Budget 2015 page

  • New part-time maintenance loans from 2018-19 to support the cost of living while studying. See Spending Review 2015 page

  • Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be abolished. The Government will reform Class 4 NICs as a route to self-employed individuals building entitlement to the State Pension and other contributory benefits. See Budget 2016 summary page

From May 2018

From April 2019

  • There will be a cap on the amount of rent that Housing Benefit will cover in the social sector to the relevant Local Housing Allowance, which is the rate paid to private renters on Housing Benefit. This includes a Shared Accommodation Rate for single claimants under 35 who do not have dependent children.

The cap will be applied to all supported housing tenancies from April 2019, though Local Authorities will receive funding to meet the additional costs of supported housing in their area.

For general needs housing, the cap will apply from April 2019 for all tenants on Universal Credit, and to Housing Benefit tenants whose tenancies began or were renewed since April 2016.

See autumn statement 2016, DWP Secretary of State Damian Green's written statement and earlier Spending Review 2015 page

From April 2020

From October 2020

From November 2021

From April 2026

From April 2028