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Changes which may affect people with disabilities or medical conditions in 2018

By: fishadmin, On: 05 January 2018

As we say goodbye to another year, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are a number of expected changes to the benefits, tax credits and social care system, which may affect people with disabilities, medical conditions, or those who have reached a certain age.

Here is a timetable of the changes that are planned for 2018.

January/February 2018

People who are unable to work because of ill health or disability can claim universal credit, which is a new means-tested benefit that is gradually being introduced to replace job seeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, housing benefit, income support, working tax credit and child tax credit. In January 2018 new claimants of universal credit may be offered an advance of up to 100 per cent which will be recoverable over 12 months. By February 2018, the seven-day waiting period will be removed, so that your entitlement begins on the first day of application.

April 2018

From April 2018, the old state and new state pensions will be increased by 3 per cent. This equates to a cash increase of £3.65 a week for the old state pension, and £4.80 a week for the new state pension.

That’s not the only change to pensions in April. The standard rate of pension credit guarantee credit will increase by £3.65 a week for a single person and by £5.55 a week for couples, while pension credit savings credit will increase by 20p a week for a single person, and by 9p a week for couples.

Also in April 2018, class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs), which affect people who are self-employed, are being abolished. In their place, the class 4 NICs are being reformed so that self-employed people have entitlement to the state pension and other contributory benefits. This one’s probably also worth being aware of if you have hired a self-employed carer.

The final change planned for April 2018 is that young carers in Scotland will be entitled to get a statement from their local authority, which will set out their circumstances and the support they need.

May 2018

Meanwhile, May 2018 is the expected date that personal independence payment (PIP) assessments will be completed for working-age people (those aged 16 to 64) who are moving over from disability living allowance (DLA). DLA is expected to have been phased out completely at this time.

Summer 2018

In Scotland, carer’s allowance rates are going to be brought in line with jobseeker’s allowance in Summer 2018. Payments will also be backdated to April 2018.

November 2018

The upper age limit for claiming PIP, which is currently 65, will begin to increase in gradual steps to 66, starting from November 2018.

The information in this blog is intended as a guide only and was correct at the time of writing.

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