In the week beginning 8 April, the benefits and state pensions paid to millions of people rose. But not for everyone. Most working-age people have seen no increase in their benefits for four years – they have been frozen at the rates first paid in 2015/16.
Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit for singles over 25 will remain at £73.10 a week – as it has been since April 2015.
If it had risen with inflation it would be £78.60 a week. In real terms it is worth £5.50 a week less, a cut of around 7.5 per cent. The same freeze has applied to tax credits that boost low pay and to Housing Benefit, which helps with rent.
- Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney
- Get independent pension advice
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Bereavement Support Payment is for spouses and civil partners bereaved under pension age, for a death since 6 April 2017. It will remain frozen at £2,500 plus £100 a month for 18 months for those without dependent children and £3,500 and £350 a month for those with.
By contrast the state pension rises in line with earnings or prices or 0.5 per cent, whichever is the highest – the so-called triple lock. This year the rise in earnings was the highest of the three at 2.6 per cent. So the new state pension has just risen by £4.25 to £168.60 a week and the old basic state pension, paid to people who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016, by £3.25 to £129.20 a week.
Many people get more or less than those standard amounts.
Women claiming on their husband’s contributions will get a £1.95 a week rise to £77.45.
Extras added to the pension rise by 2.4 per cent, which was the inflation rate last September.
Disability benefits also rise by 2.4 per cent.
There will be another £2.05 a week on the higher rate of Attendance Allowance for people over 65 and younger people on Personal Independence Payment, which will both be £87.65.
The standard rates will be £58.70 a week, a rise of £1.40.
Carer’s Allowance will increase by £1.55 to £66.15 a week. For that the carer has to look after a disabled person for at least 35 hours a week – an hourly rate of £1.89.