The benefits freeze was announced by the government in 2015, meaning many households have not seen an increase in working-age benefits they receive during this time – such as Universal Credit and Child Benefit. The benefits freeze is due to end as planned in April 2020.
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The government has confirmed that it will mean payments will rise by 1.7 percent, in line with inflation.
This means that the monthly amount a person gets, which is based on their assessment period, will rise accordingly.
The changes will affect those on both the legacy benefits system, as well as Universal Credit.
According to figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), around 2.5million people on Universal Credit will see their payments from the benefit rise, and the increases will benefit more than 10million people in total.
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Child Benefit is rising in April 2020, following the end to the working-age benefits freeze (Image: GETTY)
The legacy benefits which were affected by the ending of the benefits freeze are the following:
Jobseeker’s AllowanceEmployment and Support AllowanceIncome SupportHousing BenefitUniversal CreditChild Tax CreditsWorking Tax CreditsChild Benefit
Disability benefits and carers allowance, which have not been subject to the freeze, will also increase by 1.7 percent this year.
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Child Benefit can be received if a person is responsible for bringing up a child who is either under the age of 16, or under 30 if they stay in approved eduction or training.
While only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, there’s no limit as to how many children a person can claim for.
It is paid every four weeks – normally on a Monday or Tuesday.
Child Benefit claim: The rates differ for the eldest/only child and any additional children (Image: GETTY)
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There are two rates for Child Benefit.
Prior to the changes due in April 2020, the weekly rate for the eldest or only child is £20.70.
If the allowance is for any additional children, then the rate is £13.70 per child per week.
Child Benefit claim: Child Benefit is paid every four weeks (Image: GETTY)
Despite the increase in April 2020, figures from the Resolution Foundation has found that some families will be hundreds of pounds worse off due to the benefits freeze in recent years.
According to the Resolution Foundation, the average couple with children in the bottom half of the income distribution would be around £580 worse-off as a result.
The Foundation said its analysis has found that the benefits freeze reduced the real-terms value of working-age benefits by six percent since 2015.
Adam Corlett said back in October last year: “While the benefit freeze is over, its impact is here to stay with a lower income couple with kids £580 a year worse off as a result.
“And because benefits will only keep pace with rising prices, the social security safety net will continue to erode – falling further behind earnings and the state pension.”