Your Money Matters 
 Information and advice for Tameside residents 
 Welfare Reform in 
 Tameside 

 Information and advice for 
 Tameside residents 
 Welfare 
 Reform in 
 Tameside 

Changes To Benefits - A Timeline

The government have made vast changes to the benefits system which has affected many people. While some gained from those changes, others have not. This timeline will let you know when these changes happened, how they could affect you and what future changes are planned.

This timeline was put together by Tameside MC Welfare Rights Service for Tameside residents. It is a general guide and does not cover every circumstance. Though we have tried to make sure it was correct at the time of publication, and we hope to be able to keep it up-to-date, it may become inaccurate over time.

Available here is the archived timeline from 2013 to 2016

2017

April 2017

ESA Work-Related Activity component abolished

From 3 April 2017, new ESA claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group will receive the same rate of payment as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and the equivalent in Universal Credit.

Benefit Cap exemption for Universal Credit claimants changing

From 1 April 2017 the earnings threshold that applies to the Benefit Cap exemption for Universal Credit claimants will be changed from a fixed amount of £430 per month to the amount claimants would earn if they (or one of them, if a couple) were working 16 hours per week at national minimum wage.

Bereavement Support Payment

The current bereavement benefits (Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parent’s Allowance) will be replaced with the new Bereavement Support Payment (BSP). This will be introduced for new claims from April 2017.

Tax Credits and Universal Credit two child limit

The government proposed that support for children through Tax Credits and Universal Credit will be limited to two children from April 2017.

For Child Tax Credit, elements will not be included for a third (or more) child born on or after 6th April 2017 unless an exception applies. Elements will continue to be included for all children born before 6th April 2017.

For Universal Credit, elements will not be included for the third (or more) child who joins the family on or after 6 April 2017 unless an exception applies.

Tax Credit Family Element removed

People starting a family after April 2017 will no longer be eligible for the Family Element in tax credits. The equivalent in Universal Credit, known as the First Child Element, will also not be available for new claims from April 2017.

Autumn/End of 2017

Free Childcare Extended

Free childcare entitlement will be doubled from 15 hours to 30 hours a week for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds from September 2017.

2018

January 2018

Universal Credit Advance

From January 2018, the amount a claimant could receive from an advance payment of Universal Credit will increase from up to 50% of their estimated entitlement to up to 100%. Claimants will be able to receive an advance payment within five days of applying. The period in which the advance is recovered will be increased from six months to 12 months.

February 2018

Universal Credit

From February 2018, the government will remove the seven-day waiting period for Universal Credit, so that the claim starts from the date of application. This means that if Universal Credit is paid on time, claimants will wait five weeks for their first payment instead of six weeks.

March 2018

Universal Credit

Tameside will become a Universal Credit full service area on the 7th March 2018.

April 2018

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments

From 6 April 2018, Support for Mortgage Interest will no longer exist as a benefit for new or existing claimants. Claimants will instead be invited to apply for a loan if they want to continue to be supported. Loans will be repaid upon the sale of a claimant’s house; or on a claimant’s return to work if the borrower can afford it.

Universal Credit

From April 2018 those already on Housing Benefit will continue to receive their award for the first two weeks of their Universal Credit claim. This will be an unrecoverable payment.

The government will also make it easier for claimants to have the housing element of their award paid directly to their landlord.

Claimants who live in privately rented properties who have their Housing Benefit paid directly to landlords have this option at the beginning of a claim for Universal Credit. The government will also make it easier for claimants to have their housing element paid direct to their landlords.

The Government expects that Universal Credit will be rolled out to all areas of the country by the end of December 2018 for new Universal Credit claimants. Families with three or more children, however, won't be able to start Universal Credit claims until 1st February 2019 onwards. They will be moving claimants on the existing benefit system over to Universal Credit from July 2019.

Employer Childcare Vouchers will no longer be available to new claimants

New claims for Employer Supported Childcare (Childcare Vouchers) will not be accepted from April 2018. Existing claims will continue until the child is 15 years old (or 16 years old if disabled) or the claimant starts claiming under another scheme.

2019

2019

Universal Credit roll out

The phased introduction of Universal Credit has been pushed back numerous times. The government expects the full digital service of Universal Credit to be rolled out to all areas of the country by the end of December 2018. The government plans to start transferring people who are still on existing benefits or tax credits onto Universal Credit from July 2019. They plan to complete this process by March 2022.

Universal Credit two child limit

From 1st February 2019, families with more than two children who make new claims for Universal Credit will no longer be directed to claim Child Tax Credit instead. The two child limit will apply to those families. Families who have been awarded Universal Credit after April 2017 and have two or fewer children but who then have a third or subsequent child will have the two-child limit applied.

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