Benefits and other changes for single parents from April 2019

Benefits and other changes for single parents from April 2019

Universal Credit

Universal credit is now available throughout Scotland for all new claims. People getting legacy benefits will be moved onto universal credit by a Managed Migration.

Managed migration will be piloted in July 2019 for a few claimants, but doesn’t get fully underway until the end of 2020.

The Severe Disability Premium does not exist in Universal Credit.  If you are getting Severe Disability Premium in a legacy benefit  you will not be able to move on to Universal Credit, except through managed migration.

Universal Credit work allowance -The amount of money that you can earn before your universal credit award starts to be reduced will increase for people with children or people with limited capability for work.

From July 2019 the 12-month ‘grace period’ from the Minimum Income Floor will be extended to all gainfully self-employed claimants who are moved over to Universal Credit by managed migration. It will only be extended to new claimants from September 2020.

To be gainfully self-employed means:

  • your main employment is self-employment.
  • you have self-employed earnings.
  • your work is organised, developed, regular and you expect to make a profit.

Paying back an advance

Starting in October 2019 deductions from Universal Credit, to repay an advance payment, will be reduced from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance. Deductions are made from your monthly Universal Credit payment.

The first deduction is made on the day you get your first payment and you’ll have up to 12 months to pay back the advance.

Personal tax allowance

Workers will see their personal tax allowance rise to £12,500 from 6 April. This means you can earn £12,500 before you have to pay any income tax.

National minimum wage

  • £8.21 for people over 25
  • £7.70 for people aged 21 to 24
  • £6.15 for people aged 18 to 20
  • £3.90 for apprentices

National Minimum Wage Rates 2019/20

Carer’s Allowance

From April 19 the rate for Carer’s allowance increased to £66.15

Carer’s Allowance Supplement is an extra payment available for eligible carer’s in Scotland. This is paid twice a year with the next payment expected in June and December 2019. See Carer’s Allowance Supplement for more details.

Best Start Grant

The Best Start Grant has now replaced the Sure Start Maternity Grant in Scotland. The Grant comes in 3 parts to help families in the key early years and starting school.

The Early Learning Payment is now open for applications from 29 April 2019. The £250 Payment is for children aged between two to three and a half and can be used for anything from children’s clothes and shoes to toys, books or days out.

You can apply from your child’s second birthday up to the day your child is 3 years 6 months old.

Best start grant school age applications open 3rd June 2019, eligible families will receive £250 to help with things such as educational toys and after school activities.

Further information about Best Start Scotland can be found at or by calling 0800 182 2222

See our Best Start update

Call our advice and information team on the lone parent helpline 0808 801 0323 if you need advice.




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