Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Changes 2018
Below we have listed the benefit changes that took place during 2018:
  • Benefits freeze continues.
  • Support for Mortgage Interest from April 2018 - help given as a loan, secured against the mortgaged property - click here for more details.
  • Women's state pension age reached 65 by November 2018; then Pension Age continues to increase for both men and women.
  • From 18 October 2018, a person can claim Sure Start Maternity Grant up to six months after the baby’s birth or of adopting a baby (previously set at three months).

  • From September 2018 Carers Allowance became the first benefit in Scotland to come under the jurisdiction of the Scottish government. For the following 2 years eligible carers will continue to be paid Carers Allowance by the DWP but will be eligible for a top-up the Carers Allowance Supplement. More from mygov.scot 
  • A Pregnancy and Baby grant paid to people who have a new baby, or  paid if you're adopting or become responsible for a child under the age of one (replaces the Sure Start Maternity Grant)

Two Child Limit
  •  From November 2018 a Child Element can be included in a Child Tax Credit (and therefore HB award) or Universal Credit award where a first or second child has been adopted or is being looked after by the claimant under a kinship care / non-parental care arrangement.


  • Extension of 'interim period' for families with three or more children - no new UC claims from families with three or more children (unless been on UC within past 6 months) extended til Jan 2019.

  • Advance Payments - from 1st January 2018 increased to 100% of likely award repayable over 12 months. Click here for more on Advance payments.

  • 7 waiting days - abolished from 14th February 2018.

  • Two week HB run-on introduced for those whose HB ends because they've made a new claim for UC from April 11th 2018 - click here for more information.

  • Discretion for extending assessment period where claim backdated -  from 11th April 2018, click here for more information.

  • Temporary accommodation - funded by Housing Benefit from 11th April 2018, click here for more information.

  • Changes to DHP rules for claimants living in 'specified accommodation' and 'temporary accommodation' - from 11th April 2018 - click here for more information.

  • Surplus earnings rules - take effect from 11th April 2018 but with a higher 'relevant threshold' for the first year (which was subsequently extended) - click here for more information.

  • New time limit for providing evidence following beneficial change - reduced to 14 days from 11th April 2018 - click here for more information.

  • New rules when suspending conditionality for those previously 'found fit' or treated as 'found fit' - click here for more information.

  • Changes to assessment - small increase in work allowance from 9th April 2018 (which has been further increased from April 2019), two additional types of pensions added to list of unearned income from 11th April 2018, and net state pension figure to be used where amount of state pension reduced due to overlapping benefit rules  - /Universal-Credit/How-Much/Income for more information.

  • Housing Costs for 18-21 year olds - Armed Forces Independence Payment added to list of benefits that would exclude a claimant from the 'no Housing Costs Element' rules under Full / Digital UC. 
    (NOTE: This rule was revoked as from 31st December 2018).
  • Housing Costs for 18-21 year olds - Rules meaning some 18-21 year olds not entitled to Housing Cost Element scrapped from 31st December 2018.

  • The roll out of the  'Full' / Digital service of Universal Credit to all areas of the country was completed on 12 December 2018 for working age people having to make a new claim due to a change of circumstance.

  • Change in target date for UC to be fully implemented from March 2022 to March 2023.

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