A range of benefits, including Universal Credit, Child Benefit, Pension Credit and the state pension have gone up by 3.1% this week. However, this is just half of the current rate of inflation in the UK, which currently stands at 6.2%.
In this article, we look at which benefits are affected, how much the new payments will be and provide details of sources of help if you are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the higher cost of living.
Which benefits are increasing - and by how much?
Inflation-linked benefits rose on 11 April, as well as the state pension. Benefits went up by 3.1%, which is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figure for September 2021. The state pension also went up by 3.1%, also based on the CPI figure for September. This is in spite of it normally being subject to a "triple lock", which deems it should increase by either the rate of inflation, average earnings or 2.5%, whichever is highest. With the triple lock suspended for the 2022/23 financial year, it is based on the inflation measure.
The benefits affected by the change include:
- Universal Credit
- Child Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Carer's Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Statutory Maternity Pay
For a full list of the benefits affected, go to the government's list of benefit and pension rates.
What are the old and new rates?
In the table below, we highlight some of the key benefits that have changed this week, listing the amount paid during the 2021/22 financial year and the new rates for 2022/23.
|Benefit||2021/22 rate (£)||2022/23 rate (£)|
|Universal Credit - single, under 25||257.33||265.31|
|Universal Credit - single, 25+||324.84||334.91|
|Universal Credit - couple, under 25||403.93||416.45|
|Universal Credit - couple, 25+||509.91||525.72|
|Pension Credit - single||177.10||182.60|
|Pension Credit - couple||270.30||278.70|
|Statutory Maternity Pay||151.97||156.66|
|Child Benefit - eldest child (weekly)||21.15||21.80|
|Child Benefit - additional child (weekly)||14||14.45|
What to do if you are struggling to meet the cost of living
Although many benefits and pension payments are going up, the increase is likely to be wiped out by inflation, with the rising cost of energy and food, in particular, making it difficult to make ends meet. If you are struggling, a good first step is to make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to with this online benefits eligibility checker.
There is also funding available from local authorities as part of the Household Support Fund, which is targeted at helping vulnerable households meet day-to-day living expenses. You can check if you are eligible and apply directly through your local council website.
More generally, Citizens Advice offers free, impartial advice on debt, budgeting and other financial issues.