Universal credit: Policy changes

In this section we summarise UC changes that have been announced but not yet implemented.

Budget announcements October 2018

Several changes affecting Universal Credit were announced by the Chancellor in his October 2018 Budget:

  1.  From October 2019, the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from a Universal Credit award are to be reduced from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance and from October 2021, the period over which advances will be recovered will be increased from 12 to 16 months.
  2.  The temporary de minimis which currently applies in the surplus earnings rules of £2,500 will change from 1 April 2020 when it will revert to £300, as originally intended. Previously this was due to revert in April 2019.
  3.  From July 2020, Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income-Based), and Employment Support Allowance (Income-Related) claimants will continue to receive support for a fortnight during their transition to UC.
  4.  The minimum income floor will apply to all gainfully self-employed UC claimants after a 12 month grace period. This measure will be effective from July 2019 for those who are 'managed migrated' to UC by DWP and from September 2020 for claimants joining UC as a result of a change of circumstance. Currently, the MIF applies to all new UC claimants unless they are within the first 12 months start-up period of their business. 
  5.  The timetable for transferring rent support, for those who have reached their qualifying age for state pension credit, from Housing Benefit to Pension Credit has been revised. The transfer of rent support from Housing Benefit to Pension Credit will be delayed by three years, to October 2023.
  6.  The schedule for managed migration (the process by which the DWP will move people to UC from legacy benefits) is updated. The Government announced that the managed migration exercise will start in July 2019, with completion by December 2023. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) have built in a 6-month contingency to this schedule for the purpose of costing and so quote start date of January 2020, with completion by June 2024.

Last reviewed/updated 28 October 2019