Ongoing benefit changes


The benefit changes mentioned below apply to England, Scotland and Wales. Most of the changes also apply in Northern Ireland although there may be differences in the date when this happens. See our page on coronavirus and welfare benefits for temporary benefit changes brought about by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Universal Credit

All new claims for means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age have been replaced by a new Universal Credit. The only exception to this is some disabled adults who already qualify for a payment known as the severe disability premium as part of an existing means-tested benefit. They are exempt from Universal Credit and can still make new claims for the old benefits that Universal Credit has replaced. 

The government also intends to move existing claimants of means-tested benefits and tax credits onto Universal Credit. This will happen gradually. This started with a pilot in the Harrogate Jobcentre but that has now been supended due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Most existing claimants were expected to be moved onto Universal Credit at some point between 2020 and 2024 but that timetable is likely to now be delayed. 

We are concerned that many families with disabled children will be worse off on Universal Credit over time.

Changes in Scotland 

Introduction of new devolved disability and carers benefits in Scotland.

Between 2020 and 2022, the Scottish Government had planned to introduce a package of new disability and carers benefits in Scotland. This included:

  • From Summer 2020, the introduction of a new Disability Assistance for Children and Young People to replace new claims for Disability Living Allowance. 
  • From early 2021, the introduction of Disability Assistance for working age people to replace new claims for Personal Independence Payment.
  • From 2021, the introduction of Disability Assistance for Older People to replace new claims for Attendance Allowance.
  • From 2022, the introduction of carer's assistance to replace new claims for Carer's Allowance

The introduction of these new benefits have been delayed indefinitely during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

However, there will be a change to the DLA rules in Scotland from September 2020. Rather than DLA stopping at 16, young people in Scotland who are born on or after 1 September 2020 will be able to continue receiving DLA until their 18th birthday. 

More information

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