DWP: Touchbase – Fri 23 Sept


Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Disability Cost of Living Payment stakeholder toolkit 

Over the next few weeks, six million disabled people in the UK will receive a one-off £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment as part of the Government’s Help for Households support.  Those who had confirmed payment of their disability benefit for 25 May don’t need to do anything and will receive the £150 automatically by their usual payment method, with the vast majority to be paid by early October. While some people have been paid this week, the majority of people will be paid next week. Anyone who is awaiting a payment should therefore wait until early October before getting in touch with the Department. 

Our Disability Cost of Living Payment toolkit for stakeholders includes everything organisations need to communicate the Disability Cost of Living Payment with a range of resources such as easy read information sheets, suggested newsletter and social media copy, FAQs and a British Sign Language information video and wider Help for Households information.  

Government’s Growth Plan 

On 23 September the Chancellor unveiled a new Growth Plan to tackle high energy costs and inflation, and deliver higher productivity and wages to support businesses and households. 
New measures include cancelling the planned rise in corporation tax and reversing the 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance contributions, a change which is expected to save 920,000 businesses almost £10,000 on average next year. The Chancellor also announced more relief for businesses by making the Annual Investment Allowance £1 million permanently, rather than a return to £200,000 in March 2023.

Further support for businesses includes: 

  • Investment zones / hubs for growth – Government is in discussion with 38 local and mayoral combined authority areas in England which includes releasing more land for housing and commercial development  
  • Sector specific support for pubs and hospitality – freezing alcohol duty for another year and consultation on reforms to modernise alcohol duties 
  • Plans to accelerate new roads, rail and energy infrastructure – including offshore wind farms 

New measures aimed at unlocking private investment – changing regulations to increase investment by pension funds into UK assets, benefiting savers and boosting economic growth, and incentivising investment into Britain’s science and tech companies.

Please see the full press notice which includes factsheets on GOV.UK.

Administrative Earnings Threshold – additional jobcentre support for low earning households 

On 26 September, the Government is raising the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET) which will see approximately 114,000 Universal Credit Claimants move from the Light Touch regime where most claimants do not need to engage with the Jobcentre, into regular contact with a dedicated work coach. 

The change aims to help more low-earning households to increase their incomes and improve their pay and prospects.  

The earnings threshold will be increased to £494 per calendar month for individual claimants and £782 for couples, having previously been set at £355 per calendar month for individuals and £567 for couples. Claimants who earn below the new threshold will also have access to training and skills provision. 

Those who are impacted will be contacted by DWP about what it means for them, at the end of their first full assessment period after 26 September. 

It is important to understand that most claimants affected by the AET rise will already be in work and some may already be working as much as they can, depending on their individual circumstances. Initial meetings with work coaches will be to discuss what is reasonable and may include work preparation, to support claimants in preparing to increase their earnings when they are able to. Claimants will be able to agree an individual claimant commitment which reflects their circumstances. 

A further increase to AET, as announced in the Growth Plan will be implemented from January 2023