- Jobcentre Plus arrangements for the Spring bank holiday
- recent changes to Universal Credit
- practical tips to manage risk for defined benefit pension scheme trustees
- the Work and Health Programme
- Childcare Choices
- a public meeting for the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council
- the Workplace pension campaign partnership with Gogglebox
- the Find a job service being shortlisted for prestigious industry awards
Reforms coming into effect in April will support those who can work to get into employment while ensuring there is a safety net in place for those who need it reports the DWP.
These include more generous work allowances for disabled people and families with children and extra financial support in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme.
Other changes include increasing the State Pension, Maternity Allowance, most benefits for the additional cost of a disability and for carers, ensuring the government is supporting the most vulnerable.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, said:
“Our benefits system must be an ally of the people it serves, ensuring we are supporting the most vulnerable and that work always pays.
“That’s why we’re bringing in a number of changes to put more money in people’s pockets, while protecting families, pensioners and disabled people. Our reforms are creating a fair compassionate society where everyone can reach their full potential, while maintaining a safety net for those who need it.”
1 April Access to Work cap increase
Disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work. Disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work, the Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton has announced in Parliament.
From 1 April 2019 people will now be able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme. This can include workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.
It comes after the government increased the cap by almost a third last year. Now, even more people will be able to benefit, especially those from the deaf community who can get BSL interpreters through the scheme. Read more
This edition of Touchbase includes information on:
- changes to Universal Credit
- how to contact a claimant’s Universal Credit case manager
- a new employment-focussed campaign
- the Help to Save scheme
- the Workplace Pension campaign
Key Budget announcements:
- The Universal Credit Work Allowance will be increased by £1,000 from April 2019. This means that 2.4m households will keep an extra £630 of income each year.
- Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support will roll on for the first fortnight of a Universal Credit claim, where otherwise they would have stopped. This will be effective from July 2020, and benefit around 1.1 million claimants.
- Government is extending the 12-month grace period (the period before the Minimum Income Floor applies) to support all gainfully self-employed people. This will be introduced from July 2019 and implemented fully from September 2020.
- Claimants can repay overpayments and debt more slowly from October 2019 (from 40% of the standard allowance to 30%), and from October 2021 people will have longer to repay advances.
- In addition, the Budget provides funding for the announcements made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in April and June 2018 to support the roll out of Universal Credit.
Official figures, released by the Office for National Statistics today, show that youth unemployment has halved since 2010.
The figures also show that the unemployment rate of 4.0% has not been lower since 1975. Real wages are up for the seventh month in a row, rising by 0.7% above inflation and employment remained high at 75.5%, up 0.4% points on the year.
The proportion of young people who are unemployed is at a new record low, as more than 120,000 more young people have a job than in 2010. At the same time, fewer children are now growing up in a home without any adults in work than ever before. There are 637,000 fewer children in this position than in 2010, helping inspire more young people into work themselves. Read more
This edition of Touchbase includes information on:
- the Get to Know Your Pension campaign
- requests for personal information from third parties
- the Find a job service
- the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service
- changes for carers in Scotland
- changes to the Universal Credit live service helpline
Parents and carers should make sure they are getting National Insurance credits which may improve their State Pension income.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey today urges parents with children under 12 to ensure they receive the valuable National Insurance credits which may improve their State Pension income.
Some parents may inadvertently be missing out on retirement income to which they are entitled, the Secretary of State warned today. To ensure they receive National Insurance credits parents must submit a child benefit claim, even if they opt out of receiving any payments.
Credits can help to fill gaps in National Insurance records, and help people to qualify for some contributory benefits including State Pension.
The full new State Pension is £164.35 per week – or around £8,500 a year – however, the actual amount you get depends on an individual’s National Insurance record.
Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:
I urge everyone to check their eligibility and apply for any credits for which they qualify and are entitled to. Don’t miss out on potentially increased pay-outs from your future state pension.
The State Pension is a foundation for retirement. If you are caring for a child or a relative then you may be eligible for National Insurance credits which will strengthen this foundation.
National Insurance credits aim to ensure that someone’s State Pension is not affected if they are unable to work and pay National Insurance contributions. Read more