The financial boost – which adds up to around £80 each month – will officially stop today (October 6). We explain exactly how the standard allowance is changing and when it’ll affect your payments
Universal Credit payment rates are dropping from today as the weekly £20 boost introduced during the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.
The financial boost – which adds up to around £80 each month – officially stops on October 6.
But due to the way Universal Credit is paid, the exact date people will see the cut kick in will depend on the day they get their benefit payment.
This means September was the last month many families saw their benefits paid at the topped up level.
The increase was introduced for a temporary 12-month period but was extended by a further six months back in March 2021.
Are you worried about the cut to Universal Credit? Let us know: email@example.com
So far, the government has resisted calls to extend the uplift – saying it was designed only to be a temporary measure.
But debt charities have warned how the drop in income could plunge millions of struggling households into debt.
The charity Citizens Advice says the cut could impact some 2million people and called it “a hammer blow”.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has said the cut would push 500,000 people below the poverty line.
The Mirror has also spoken to families who will be directly affected by the Universal Credit cut, including one mum who fears she won’t be able to buy food.
Another parent said she’ll likely have to use her credit card just to get into work.
How much is Universal Credit dropping by?
The cut to Universal Credit will be applied to the standard allowance, which is the basic amount you are entitled to.
Here is how the standard allowance is changing:
Joint claimants both under 25: £403.93 (from £490.60)
Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £509.91 (from £596.58)
Your Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and any additional elements that may apply to you.
For example, you may be entitled to more money if you look after a child, or have an illness or disability.
The amount you receive for additional elements that can be applied to Universal Credit won’t be changing in October.
Childcare costs element
Limited capability for work element (abolished for most new claimants from 3 April 2017)
Limited capability for work-related activity element (LCWRA element)
Housing costs element
Transitional amount for people who had Severe Disability Premium on their legacy benefits
If anyone in your household has earnings, other income, savings or capital, these will be taken into account to work out your Universal Credit.
The benefit cap may also reduce how much you receive, if it applies to you.
We’ve got a guide on how Universal Credit is calculated here.
How to get free debt help
If you’re really struggling with your bills or are getting deeper into debt – don’t sit in silence.
There are free organisations out there that can give you professional advice to get back in the clear.
Always be wary of firms who try to charge you for debt help, as you can get advice without paying a penny.
Speak to one of the following organisations:
We’ve also got a full list of other help you may be eligible for alongside Universal Credit here.