Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Benefit changes timetable

Multiple Welfare Reforms have been implemented since 2011 - and they continue. Check out what's happening by year or by subject matter in the subheadings - they can have dramatic impacts on claimants and their families.

Please click on the links below to be taken to the relevant section of the page.

Changes beyond 2023

Changes in 2023

Changes in 2022

Changes in 2021

Changes beyond 2023

Below we have listed the benefit changes due from 2023:


  • Work Capability Assessments:
    • The government has published a White Paper proposing to scrap Work Capability Assessment and LCWRA Element. In its place they are proposing a Health Element for anyone on any rate/element of Personal Independence Payment to the same value, regardless of their capability for work or work status.
    • If this passes through Parliament, then the earliest this could start to be introduced is 2026/27 for new claimants, with protections in place for some. National roll-out is expected from 2029.

  • Funding for Supported Housing - The Government has confirmed that funding for supported housing would remain within the welfare system. But we are still a long way off knowing what is being proposed.

  • State Pension age will increase from 66 to 67 starting 2026

  • The deadline to pay voluntary NICs for the contribution years 2006/7 to 2015/6, to increase New State Pension entitlement, is extended to 5 April 2025.

Universal Credit

  • Surplus earnings rules set to return to their original amount in April 2024.

  • Managed Migration timetable:
    • 2024/25 –IS, IB-JSA, IR-ESA plus Tax Credits, HB only
    • 2028/29 – All remaining IR-ESA cases

Housing Benefit

  • Housing Benefit incorporated into Pension Credit - The Government plans to stop HB for Pension Credit age claimants (unless living in 'supported housing') and create a new housing element in Pension Credit. This change is intended to take effect in 2028-29.


  • Scottish Child Payment (under 16)

  • From 19.11.23: Roll-out of Carer’s Assistance (replacing Carer’s Allowance)

  • End of 2025:Pension Age Disability Payment (replacing Attendance Allowance)

Changes in 2023

Below we have listed the benefit changes in 2023:


  • The current ‘Special Rules’ for terminal illness which fast-track benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months will be expanded with a new 12-month, 'Special Rules End of Life' definition. Implemented for Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance in April 2022, expected April 2023 for disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment. Click here for more information.

  • 9th February 2023 - Bereavement Support Payment extended to cohabiting couples with retrospective payments for some.

  • From April 2023- National minimum wage increases by 9.7%.

  • From April - Benefit uprating: at 10.1%. BUT LHAs frozen and Bereavement Support Payment not increased.

  • From April 2023 - Benefit Cap increased in line with inflation.

  • From September 2023 people with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will automatically have their status extended by 2 years before it expires if they have not obtained settled status.

Universal Credit

  • January 2023 - Increased in-work conditionality for some - extension to the Administrative Earnings Threshold rule - to £617 per month for single people and £988 per month for couples. As a result an additional 120,000 part-time workers likely to be required to look for work.

  • Managed migration for Tax Credit only claimants.

  • April 2023 - The TSDPE rates will be uprated in line with CPI for 2023/24 and annually thereafter until 2027/8.

  • April 2023 - Relevant threshold’ for purposes of calculating surplus earnings under Universal Credit to stay at £2,500 until 31 March 2024.

  • From April 2023 - Help with mortgage interest loan for UC claimants: waiting time reduced from 9 to 3 months, and 'zero hours' rule abolished. This will allow working UC claimants to receive the loan whilst in work.

  • Effective from summer 2023 - Help with childcare costs: Childcare costs support will be paid upfront to parents on Universal Credit moving into work or increasing their hours.
    The maximum Childcare Costs Element will be increased to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children from July 2023 and increased by CPI each year thereafter until 2027/8.

  • Unknown date: New measures will require Universal Credit claimants who are lead carers of children aged 1 or 2 to meet with a Work Coach more regularly in order to prepare for work. Additionally, lead carers of children aged 3 to 12 will be supported to increase the number of hours they are expected to search or prepare for work each week.

  • The planned increased work conditionality from September is pushed back to 2024.


  • February 2023 - Scottish Government to start making payments of new Low Income Winter Heating Assistance benefit.

  • Spring 2023 - Scottish Government intends to have transferred all recipients of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Scottish Child Disability Payment.

  • Winter 2023 - Scottish Carers Assistance to begin late 2023 and be fully rolled out in Spring 2024.

  • 5.10.23 - Most Social Security Scotland benefits (except those relying on NI Contributions) added to the list of Public Funds.

Changes in 2022

Below we have listed the benefit changes due from 2022:


  • From 1st January 2022: Compensation payments made by schemes established or approved by the Secretary of State to compensate for historical institutional child abuse in the United Kingdom, or under the Home Office’s Windrush Compensation Scheme are disregarded as capital/income for means-tested benefits - see ADM 21/21.

  • The current ‘Special Rules’ for terminal illness which fast-track benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months will be expanded with a new 12-month, 'Special Rules End of Life' definition. From April 2022 for Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance and later for disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment. Click here for more information.

  • From 5th April 2022, Tax Credits and Child Benefit will no longer be payable into a Post Office care account. HMRC have announced that HMRC they are not going to use the Payment Exception Service but instead will use ‘Payout vouchers’ for those who don’t open a bank account. The vouchers which ‘are sent by mail or SMS to customers for them to cash at the Post Office, akin to the way that Post Office card account customers withdraw their money from the Post Office.’

  • From 26th April starting or increasing deductions for ongoing fuel costs requires the consent of the claimant.

  • Post Office card account (POCA) ends 30 November 2022 - There will be an alternative payment service for those who need it

Universal Credit

  • From 8th February 2022 - those UC claimants able to restrict their initial job search in their preferred sector, can only do so for a maximum of 4 weeks. This was previously for up to 3 months - see ADM 02/2022.

  • From the 15th February 2022 ‘Terminally ill’ ESA/UC claimants no longer have to sign a Claimant Commitment - see ADM 03/2022.

  • Relevant threshold’ for purposes of calculating surplus earnings under Universal Credit to stay at £2,500 until 31 March 2023.

  • Managed migration restart from 9th May 2022.

  • 26th September 2022 - Increase in Administrative Earnings Threshold to £494 per month for single people and £782 per month for couples.

  • Victims of domestic abuse and modern slavery to be exempt from the ‘shared accommodation rate’ and have the higher one-bedroom rate applied instead from October 2022.

Housing Benefit

  • Victims of domestic abuse and modern slavery to be exempt from the ‘shared accommodation rate’ and have the higher one-bedroom rate applied instead from October 2022.


  • Roll out of Adult Disability Payment in Scotland from 21st March 2022. The Scottish Parliament approved Regulations that new claimants in certain areas of Scotland will be able to make claims for ADP from 21st March 2022. The plan is for it to be rolled out nationwide from 29th August 2022. The entitlement rules are similar to PIP. Click here for the policy paper.

  • Scottish Child Payment will double to £20 per child per week from April 2022. Nicola Sturgeon announced the increase at the SNP conference - click here for more.

  • End of 2022: Winter Heating Assistance (replace Cold Weather Payment and Winter Fuel Payment)

Changes in 2021

Below we have listed the benefit changes that took place in 2021:


  • The government has announced that it will begin piloting a small scale, in-house, integrated PIP and ESA/UC WCA assessment service, starting 2021 in areas of London (had been delayed due to COVID).

  • Job Retention Scheme, introduced due to COVID. extended to end 30th September 2021, continuing to pay 80% of wages.

  • From 8th May 2021, a “breathing space” of up to 60 days (longer if mental health crisis), where people in problem debt will be protected from enforcement action by their creditors and the charging of further interest and fees on their debts. This includes debts owed to central and local government. 

  • National Living wage - will apply to workers aged 23 and over in April 2021, with a target for it to apply to workers aged 21 and over by 2024.

  • On 15 July a draft plan was laid before Parliament to extend Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Support Payment to surviving co-habiting partners with children who were living with their partner at the time of death. Once approved by Parliament, the changes will apply retrospectively from 30 August 2018, with any backdated payments being made as lump sums. More from gov.uk here.

  • Amending Regulations - effective from 18th October - replace previous guidance and enable the DWP, with the claimant’s consent, to stagger payments of benefit arrears rather than pay the whole amount as a lump sum, where it believes it is necessary to protect the interests of the claimant - click here for more info.


  • Scottish Child Payment. It is a payment of £10 per week for every child under six for households with children and in receipt of a qualifying benefit (Universal Credit, Legacy Benefits and/or Pension Credit). It does not affect other benefits.  It will be paid from 15 February 2021 but applications have been open since 9 November 2020. The government aims to extend the scheme to children under 16 by the end of 2022.

  • Child Disability Payment

Universal Credit

  • Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland can continue to provide the "Help to Claim" service for UC claimants during 2021/22. EXTENDED for 2022/23.

  • Standard Allowance The £20 uplift in the UC Standard Allowance will continue for a further 6 months from April 2021. REMOVED from Oct 2021.

  • Minimum Income Floor -The suspension of the MIF continues to the end of July 2021. It will gradually be re-introduced in August 2021 but with discretion for it not to be applied to claimants whose self employed earnings are adversely affected by Covid.

  • Repayment of Advances From April 2021, New Claim Advances & Benefit Transfer Advances can be repaid over 24 months.

  • Deduction rates From April 2021, the maximum amount for Third Party Deductions will be reduced from 30% of standard allowance to 25%.

  • Surplus Earnings The surplus earnings threshold will remain at £2500 until 31st March .2022 (when it is due to be reduced from £2500 to £300). EXTENDED to 31st March 2023

  • Prisoners on temporary lease will continue to have access to means-tested benefits until 12th May 2021. this is an extension of the original provision, brought in due to the pandemic.

  • October 2021 - removal of the Covid £20 uplift.

  • Increase in earnings taper and work allowance from 24th November 2021 - see ADM 20/21.

UC and HB:

Local Housing Allowance Shared Accommodation Rate from June 2021:

  • Care leavers  -Care leavers remain exempt from the Shared Accommodation Rate until age 25.

  • Homeless Hostels  - Those exempt from the Shared Accommodation Rate due to having lived in homeless hostels for 3 months will include claimants under 25 (currently they must be age 25-35).

Working Tax Credit

£500 payment The temporary £20 uplift ends from April, but claimants will receive a £500 one off payment.