If you receive benefits or state pension payments, read on to find out about upcoming changes that could mean more money in your pocket.
End of the benefit freeze
Many people will see an increase in their benefit payments this year, as the benefit freeze that was introduced four years ago is due to be lifted in April.
Most working age benefit and tax credit payments, including Universal Credit, Tax Credits and Child Benefit, have stayed at the same rates since 2016 rather than increasing in line with the rising cost of living. But from April this year, the freeze will end, and benefits will increase by 1.7%.
State pension rise
There is extra money for anyone receiving a state pension. A rise of 3.9% means an extra £5.05 in your pocket, as weekly payments increase from £129.20 to £134.25. And if you’re entitled to the new single tier state pension, your weekly payment will increase to £175.20, which is an extra £6.60 a week.
From July 2020, claimants who move to Universal Credit will receive an additional two weeks of income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Income Support.
Parental bereavement leave
From April this year, the government will introduce a new legal entitlement to two weeks’ leave for employees following the death of a child under 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. If you have 26 weeks of continuous employment service, you will be entitled to two weeks of paid leave at the statutory rate, and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave.
If you have any queries about your benefit entitlement get in touch with our Welfare Rights and Money Advice team for free and confidential advice, or check out our website for lots of useful advice and information on benefits.