April 2017: changes to benefits and tax credits
There are a number of important changes to benefits and tax credits from April 2017.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If you make a new claim for ESA on or after 3 April and you are put in the work-related activity group, you will get the same amount of benefit as someone on Jobseeker's Allowance:
- £57.90 a week if you're under 25
- £73.10 a week if you're 25 or over
If you are doing permitted work and earning up to £120 a week, you do not need to give up your work or end your ESA claim after 52 weeks.
Two child limit for tax credits and housing benefit
From 6 April, you can get the child element of Child Tax Credit for up to two children. You can only get Child Tax Credit for a third (or later) child if:
- they joined your family before 6 April 2017 or
- they qualify for an exception
If you have more than two children you can still get Child Tax Credit for disabled children or childcare costs.
The same rules now usually apply for housing benefit.
Starting a family after 6 April 2017
If you start a family on or after 6 April 2017, you will not get the family element of Child Tax Credit. This is worth up to £545 a year for families who qualify for it.
If your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you may be able to claim the new Bereavement Support Payment.
Other changes to benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit in 2017
There are a number of other changes to benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit in 2017. We have not included details of Universal Credit changes on this page because they will not be relevant in Oxford until October 2017. We will update this page as necessary.