Universal Credit claimants could get £65 more than others after reaching milestone

Universal Credit claimant sends message to Rishi Sunak

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Universal Credit payments are made up via two separate elements – standard allowances and any extra amounts to cover certain costs such as rent and childcare. While payments will vary across claimants, some will find themselves with more money when they reach certain milestones.

When one of the partners reaches the age of 25 however, this will be increased to £596.58.

These standard allowances were increased in early 2020 by around £20 a week, or £1,040 a year, and the Government has confirmed these boosts will be removed from October 6.

This means while every Universal Credit claim will drop by around £85 a month, the proportion of income claimants will lose will vary depending on their circumstances.

Citizens Advice illustrated how different age claimants will be see their standard allowances drop come October 6:

  • By a quarter for single claimants under 25, from £344 to £257.33
  • By a fifth for single claimants over 25, from £411.51 to £324.84
  • By 17 percent for joint claimants under 25, from £490.60 to £403.93
  • By 14 percent for joint claimants over 25, from £596.58 to £509.91

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This comes following changes made by the Government to the National Living Wage (NLW), which was extended to younger workers in April.

The age threshold for the NLW was lowered from 25 to 23, which highlights the state recognises living costs remain an issue regardless of ones age.

The NLW changes means that thousands of young workers will be eligible for a higher wage floor, with the changes being made following recommendations made to the Government by the Low Pay Commission.

Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the Low Pay Commission, commented: “This has been an extraordinary year for all of us, but particularly for minimum wage workers, many of whom have worked throughout the pandemic in frontline roles or have worked in the sectors that have been hardest hit by lockdown measures.

“This week’s increase in the NLW is our first step towards the Government’s target of two-thirds of median earnings.

“It is a real-terms increase, meaning that an hour’s work can buy more than it could last year, at the start of the pandemic.

“The level of the new rate however also reflects the need to protect workers from job losses.

“Importantly, the NLW will now apply to workers aged 23 and over.

“This is an important change which is strongly endorsed by the Commission.

“Young people should be fairly rewarded for their work.

“We will seek to understand how young people’s pay and employment are affected by this in our consideration of a further reduction in the NLW age qualification to 21.”

Universal Credit is applied for online and claimants will have to apply as a couple if they live together.

Partners will not need to be married for this and when applying, certain information will need to be provided such as bank details, information on housing costs and personal details.

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