Benefit updates from April 2019

This is taken from Carers UK press releases dated 05 April 2019

A quick summary of recent benefit changes and updates:

  • The National Living Wage is going up to £8.21 an hour 
    You are legally entitled to the National Living Wage if you are aged 25 or over, and not in your first year of an apprenticeship. Those under 25 and apprentices also benefit from rises in the Minimum Wage. The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates apply across the UK.

  • The rate at which Carer’s Allowance is paid has increased... 
    from £64.60 to £66.15 and the Carer’s Allowance earnings limit has increased from £120 to £123 a week (after deductions). To find out more about how you might be affected, take a look at our Carer’s Allowance factsheet

  • Other benefits that went up 
    The carer premium (carer addition within Pension Credit) went up from £36.00 a week to £36.85 a week. The carer element is an equivalent amount paid with Universal Credit – this is increasing to £160.20 a month (approx. £37 a week). The rates for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance were also uprated. For more information on these benefits, see our benefits information.

  • Continuing roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) 
    Universal Credit is a single means-tested benefit which replaces Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. 

    With the roll-out of UC across the UK, working age people wishing to make a new claim for means-tested benefits will have to claim UC.

    People already receiving means-tested benefits will only need to claim UC if they have a change in circumstances (that means they have to make a new claim for one of the above means-tested benefits). The managed migration of people on existing benefits to UC is due to start in late 2019 and will be completed by 2022.


Carers UK comment:

13 March 2019

In his Spring Statement today (Wednesday 13th March 2019) the Chancellor did not make any commitments to the funding of social care.

Responding to the Statement, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Another opportunity has passed and once again the Government has failed to deliver the funding for social care services that unpaid carers and those they support desperately need.

“Without immediate investment in care services – as well as plans for sustainable long term funding - the pressure on families providing unpaid care is only going to increase. We know that carers are already under a lot of strain, with the vast majority of (72%) reporting poor mental health and two in five unable to take a break from their caring role in the last year.

“Carer’s Allowance, the main benefit for people caring unpaid for more than 35 hours a week, is still the lowest benefit of its kind and those who rely on this support face a never-ending struggle to make ends meet, some forgoing essentials such as food and heating. It’s high time the Government made it fairer for carers and raised Carer’s Allowance throughout the UK – as has already been done in Scotland.

“The Government’s upcoming Spending Review must ensure better financial support for carers and enable them to have a break. Carers have already waited over two years for the Government’s Green Paper on social care so it is imperative that this too has their huge contribution to our society and the economy – worth £132 billion a year – at its heart."