Steph’s top tips

Wed 31 Jan 2024


In our latest edition of Cartref we hear from our finance expert, Steph about the latest benefits information:

Managed Migration confusion
From September last year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sent out leaflets to all Tax Credit claimants saying their “Tax Credits are ending” which caused panic and confusion with tenants thinking they have to claim Universal Credit (UC) earlier than they needed to. Remember, if nothing has changed, you only need to claim Universal Credit when you receive an actual Migration Notice letter.

Migration Notice letters will be issued from the DWP explaining what you need to do and how to get help if you need it.

The Migration Notice will tell you that you need to make a claim to UC within three months from the date of your letter and that tax credits will end if you decide not to make a claim.

Anyone making a claim to UC after getting a Migration Notice letter will have their benefit entitlement protected through Transitional Protection. This means that people with no change in their circumstances will not have a reduced entitlement at the point they move to UC.

Those entitled to UC will receive their first payment approximately five weeks after submitting a claim and will receive payments once a month thereafter.

Benefit changes
The government released the 2023 Autumn Statement, here’s some of the notable changes:
Benefit rates will increase in line with inflation, meaning an increase of 6.7%. These increases will come into effect from April 2024.

The state pension will be increased by 8.5% in April 2024, in line with average wage increase. The Pension Credit standard minimum guarantee will also increase by 8.5%.

National living wage, also known as legal minimum wage, will increase from £10.42 to £11.44 an hour from April 2024. Also, the threshold will be lowered to include people aged 21 and over. The main 12% national insurance rate has also fallen to 10% from 6 January.

Don’t forget if you are struggling, our Financial Inclusion and Universal Credit teams can help, whether you claim benefits or not. Get in touch on 01639 315000.