Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
Due to some last minute changes and difficulties with the new forms, only a small number of people, in restricted areas, were transferred from DLA to PIP in October 2013. It is envisaged that this will be rolled out to more areas during 2014. A map highlighting areas being assessed can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pip-postcode-map-uk. However, it is anticipated that the majority of claimants will not be reassessed until 2015 or even later dependant on the outcome of the independent review which is to take place sometime in 2014. This is particularly so for those individuals who have an indefinite award of DLA of which there are no changes to their circumstances.
It is envisaged that all Incapacity Benefits which includes Incapacity, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support on disability grounds, will transfer to ESA by the end of March 2014.
Child Tax Credits
As of April 2014, parents/guardians will be responsible for notifying HMRC by the 31 August, each year if any child aged between 16 – 19 years, included in the claim is remaining in full time non advanced education. If this is not done on a yearly basis and by the 31 August, the child will automatically be removed from the claim and your award will be reduced or stopped accordingly.
Job Seekers Allowance
There are a few changes being implemented to job seekers allowance these are:
- The waiting period for first claims is being extended from 3-7 days
- New claimants will have to attend longer interviews and provide a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Those who have poor spoken English will have to attend English classes or face sanctions
- For those deemed to be not doing enough in finding a job will have to attend weekly meetings instead of fortnightly.
The full role out of Universal Credits in April 2014, will not happen as planned. Instead from April 2014, Couples and families will be able to claim universal credits only if they live in one of the 10 pilot areas who were assessing single people. Areas included in the pilot scheme can be found at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility . By the end of 2014 it is hoped that Universal Credits will be rolled out across more of North West England but it will not be available to all areas until 2016.
In April 2014, Universal Credits may be introduced into Northern Ireland. However, this is dependent on the outcome of the welfare reform bill, which is yet to be passed.