How much is Universal Credit going up? When will UK benefit payments rise - autumn budget changes explained

Benefit payments will increase in line with inflation and come into effect in April 2023

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Millions of households on benefits including Universal Credit will get a payment boost worth hundreds of pounds next year Jeremy Hunt confirmed in his autumn statement.

The Chancellor said state pension and other benefits will increase in line with inflation, and will help 10 million working age families.

It will come into effect in April 2023 and boost the payments for the average family on Universal Credit by £600 a year.

The move is set to cost the government £11 billion in 2023-24 and it comes after Liz Truss was unable to say in her mini-budget where or not the government would facilitate this rise.

What did Jeremy Hunt announce?

The Chancellor said on Thursday (17 November): "There have also been some representations to keep the uplift to working age and disability benefits below the level of inflation, given the financial constraints we face.

"But that would not be consistent with our commitment to protect the most vulnerable so today I also commit to uprate such benefits by inflation with an increase of 10.1%."

Jeremy Hunt today also confirmed new cost of living payments worth £900 for Brits on means-tested benefits, £300 for pensioners and £150 for households on disability benefits.

How much will Universal Credit go up?

The current standard allowance for single claimants over the age of 25 is £334.91 a month.Based on the September inflation rate of 10.1%, these payments will increase by £33.83 a month to around £368.74.

This works out as an extra £405.96 a year. Meanwhile, the single allowance if you live with a partner and either of you is 25 or over is £525.72 for both.

It means a 10.1% rise will increase the monthly payments by £53.09 to £578.82.

But how much extra you will get a month depends on your current benefit level.

The government is yet to confirm the full list of benefits to rise, however, these are the following that are also legally required to have their payments rise with the previous September’s rate of inflation each April:

  • Personal independence payment (PIP)
  • Disability living allowance
  • Attendance allowance
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Industrial injuries benefit
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Additional state pension
  • Guardian’s allowance

What did Liz Truss previously say about cutting benefits?

Speaking to broadcasters at the time of her mini-budget, the former Prime Minister dodged questions over the benefits rise. Ms Truss told reporters: “The biggest part of the package that we announced was the support for families on energy as well as making sure that we reversed the national insurance rise. In terms of benefits uprating, that is something the Work and Pensions Secretary is looking at and she will make an announcement in due course as is the normal practice, for the autumn.”

When pressed once again for an answer to the question of whether her government would be keeping or scrapping the rise, Ms Truss again placed focus on the energy support her government has offered in the mini-budget.

She said: “What is important to me is that we are fair in the decisions we make, but most importantly that we help families and businesses at this very difficult time with their energy prices. I had real fears that businesses could go out of business this winter because they were facing unaffordable energy bills.

“We put in place a business scheme, we put in place support for households across the country. That has cost us money but it was important we acted quickly.”