Universal Credit claimants could be £670 worse-off despite ‘lifeline' payment rise next year

Universal Credit claimants could be £670 worse-off despite ‘lifeline' payment rise next year

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirms payment rate rise to Universal Credit last month

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 23/12/2023

- 06:00

Benefit payment rates will rise by 6.7 percent, including Universal Credit, in April next year, but households are still set to miss out financially

Universal Credit claimants could be £670 worse-off next year despite an upcoming hike to benefit payment rates, experts have warned.

In April 2024, recipients of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) support will see their payments go up by 6.7 percent.

When implemented, the standard allowance for single claimants on Universal Credit over the age of 25 are to rise from £368.74 to £393.45 a month.

As a result, 5.5 million households on the benefit will gain an extra £470 on average next year but experts are warning this “may not be enough”.

Chris Demetriou, the head of Business Advisory, at Archmedia Accountants, spoke to GB News about how working-age Britons will likely lose out financially next year compared to pensioners.

Despite describing the payment as a “lifeline”, the accountant highlighted that the country’s recent high levels of inflation mean Universal Credit will offer little returns to those who claim it.

Woman looking stressed

Universal Credit 'won't be enough' for some households next year


He explained: “On the surface, raising the standard rates with inflation in 2024 seems good.

"But inflation is still high, so the increases may not be enough. My work shows people could still lose around £670 each year despite the raise.

“I'm glad pension benefits will grow faster than wages at 8.5 percent. Seniors are protected from high price increases. But it shows working folks still don't get as much help.

“With costs still going up, benefits for working people must increase a lot too. They need real support.”

Research carried out by the New Economics Foundation also suggests that single Universal Claimants over 25 will have £670 less to spend next year even with rates rising in line with inflation.

According to the accountant, the DWP’s plan to transition more benefit claimants onto Universal Credit will be challenging considering the payment is not offering enough money to those in need.

Mr Demetriou added: “The plan to slowly move everyone to Universal Credit from 2024 on also causes issues. It will take careful work to switch folks over smoothly with help and guidance.

“Anyone affected should get independent money advice early. Knowing what you qualify for and preparing for changes is important. Making sure no one suddenly loses out is also key.”

DWP logo

Thousands claim support from the DWP thanks to Universal Credit


Here is a breakdown of the payment rate changes to the Universal Credit standard allowance which will be introduced in April 2024:

  • If you're 25 or over and single - From £368.74 to £393.45
  • If you're 25 or over and in a couple - From £458.51 to £489.23
  • If you're under 25 and single - From £292.11 to £311.68
  • If you're under 25 and in a couple - From £578.82 to £617.60

Claimants may get extra money on top of their standard allowance in certain situations, for example, if they have children and need help with childcare or housing costs.

You may like