The latest edition of the Government’s Department for Work & Pension’s newsletter, Touchbase, included details of the support it offered vulnerable people – below is the section of the newsletter covering this subject. You can read the full newsletter here.
Last week the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement including a targeted package of support for the most vulnerable.
The package included:
The Government is protecting the most vulnerable in society by increasing benefits in line with inflation by 10.1%. Working age families will see their benefit payments rise from April 2023. The Government is also providing support this winter for people who need help now, including money off energy bills and Cost of Living Payments with the latest – £300 for pensioners – landing in bank accounts from next week.
Pensioners in Great Britain will benefit from a 10.1% increase to their State Pension in April 2023 under the triple lock. This is worth over £870 next year on average. A full basic State Pension will increase from £141.85 to £156.20 per week, and the new State Pension will increase from £185.15 to £203.85. The Government will also protect 1.4 million of the poorest pensioner households from rising prices by increasing Pension Credit by 10.1% in April 2023.
New Cost of Living Payments
UK households on means-tested benefits will receive an additional Cost of Living Payment of £900 in 2023-24. These will be made in more than one instalment.
People across the UK on non-means-tested disability benefits will receive a further £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment in 2023-24, to help with the additional costs they face. This is in addition to the Cost of Living Payments for households on means-tested benefits and pensioner households, if eligible.
Pensioner households across the UK will receive an additional £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment in 2023-24 to help with bills. This is in addition to means-tested benefits and disability payments, if eligible – recognising that many pensioners are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs and unable to increase their income through work.
DWP will provide further detail on timing of these payments and eligibility dates in due course. The payments will be tax free and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards.
Benefit cap rise
In April 2023, the Government will also increase the benefit cap in line with inflation by 10.1%. The benefit cap will rise from £23,000 to £25,323 for families in Greater London and from £20,000 to £22,020 for families nationally. Lower caps for single households without children will rise from £15,410 to £16,967 in Greater London and from £13,400 to £14,753 nationally.
Household Support Fund extension
To ensure that the most vulnerable households are protected, there will be a further one-year extension of the Household Support Fund from April 2023 to provide £842 million of support for the most vulnerable in society. The Devolved Administrations will receive £158 million through the Barnett formula, bringing total spend for this measure to £1 billion. Those in need can access the fund by contacting their local Council. The money can be used to cover the cost of essentials like food, energy and water bills.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – delay in managed move to Universal Credit (UC)
The Government has also had to make challenging decisions to deliver on fiscal sustainability, while protecting support for those who need it most. As part of this, the Chancellor announced a delay in the moving of ESA claimants not in receipt of Child Tax Credit into UC until April 2028, this provides a welfare saving of £1 billion by 2027-28, as overall UC is more generous than the benefits it replaces. Completing the move to UC over a longer time frame moves these increased costs to a later date.