Ongoing benefit changes

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Find out more about changes to the welfare system that may affect the financial situation of families with disabled children.

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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All new claims for means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age have already been replaced by Universal Credit.

The government also intends to move existing claimants of means-tested benefits and tax credits onto Universal Credit. This process is known as managed migration onto Universal Credit and is expected to happen gradually. A pilot managed migration scheme started in the Harrogate Jobcentre but was supended due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This is now expected to restart in April 2022. No date has been confirmed for the roll out of managed migration nationally. Originally most existing claimants were expected to be moved onto Universal Credit at some point between 2022 and 2026 but that timetable may 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.

The Scottish Government plan to introduce a package of new disability and carers benefits in Scotland. This includes:

However the introduction of these new benefits have been delayed by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The new Child Disability Payment will be introduced with a pilot scheme expected to start on 26 July 2021 in the local authority areas of Dundee City, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles. In these three areas it will not be possible to make a new claim for DLA after 26 July 2021, with a claim for the Child Disability Payment being required instead. This will be followed by its rollout of the new benefit across the whole of Scotland in Autumn 2021 to replace new claims for DLA. The national roll out is expected to start on 22 November 2021.

Initially the Child Disability Payment will only replace new claims for DLA. Children who are already on DLA won’t be moved onto the new benefit until later and this will happen in stages. The Scottish government have also confirmed that once transfers start, families who currently get DLA for a child will have their awards moved over automatically to the new Scottish benefit, with no change in their payment rates or payment dates.

The new adult disability payment will be piloted in spring 2022 and rolled out across Scotland in summer 2022 to replace new claims for PIP. Initially the adult disability payment will have very similiar rules to PIP but the Scottish Government intends to carry out a full review of the benefit in the Summer of 2023.

No dates are yet avilable for the introduction of pension age Disability Assistance or Scottish Carers Assistance