Social Justice

DWP benefits and state pension rising from April. Here's when you will get the higher amount

This is everything you need to know about the changes to your benefits and state pension in April 2024

dwp benefits /money

We outline when to expect your benefits next month. Image: Pexels

Benefits claimants and pensioners will see a boost to their income from April onwards.

Benefits are up by 6.7%, the rate of inflation seen in September, from Monday (April 8). State pension has increased by the even higher rate of 8.5% in line with wage growth.

The cost of living crisis continues to be felt deeply by families and individuals across the country, so the fact that benefits have increased will come as a relief to many households.

You are far from alone if you are struggling in the cost of living crisis. It has gone on for far too long and our bills are still going up. April comes along with increases in council tax, water and broadband bills.

The Big Issue has reported about how benefits are failing to stretch far enough as prices keep rising. Universal credit will £120 short of the money people need to live each month even after benefits are increased in April.

The cost of living payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) hit bank accounts in February, and some of the extra financial support available over the winter period has also come to an end – such as the winter fuel payment for pensioners and the warm home discount.

There is no shame in asking for help. You’re entitled to it.

Below, we have rounded up everything you need to know about benefits you can claim in April 2024 and where to get help if that’s not enough.

How much have benefits gone up in April 2024?

Benefits have increased by 6.7% from April 8, 2024. That means that your benefit payment will be 6.7% higher this month than in March.

For example, if you are a single person over the age of 25, your universal credit payment will increase from £368.74 to £393.45 per month.

It comes after chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the Autumn Statement that benefits are going to be increased by the September rate of inflation.

April 8 is the date that the financial year starts.



How much has state pension gone up in April 2024?

State pension has been increased by 8.5% from April 8, according to the rules of the triple lock.

The triple lock means that state pension is increased by whichever is higher: the rate of wage growth, inflation or 2.5%. For this financial year, the highest was earnings growth at 8.5%.

It means that those on the new state pension (for those reaching pension age after April 2016) will get £221.20 each week, up from £203.25.

Meanwhile, those on the basic state pension will get £169.50 each week, up from £156.20.

When will my benefits paid by the DWP in April 2024?

The date your benefit is paid depends on what benefit you receive and when you started claiming.

Universal credit is paid monthly by the DWP. You can find out more about universal credit here.

Attendance allowance, disability living allowance, pension credit, personal independence payment and state pension are paid every four weeks.

Carer’s allowance, tax credits (from HMRC) and child benefit are either weekly or every four weeks. And maternity allowance is either every two weeks or every four weeks.

Income support, employment and support allowance and jobseeker’s allowance are usually every two weeks.

How do I know if I am eligible for DWP benefits in April 2024?

You could be entitled to benefits and tax credits if you are working or unemployed, sick or disabled, a parent, a young person, an older person or a veteran. You can use the charity Turn2Us’ benefits calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim. 

Citizens Advice offers information and services to help people and they can advise you as to what financial support is available from the government to help you. 

Just under £19billion in benefits goes unclaimed each year, according to research by Policy in Practice. That’s often because people don’t know about them, can’t access them and because of the stigma around asking for help.

But it’s so important to claim support you’re entitled to.

The government’s Help for Households website explains what support you could be eligible for – such as cost of living payments and we’ve got a round-up of all the cost of living help available to households here.

Are there any more cost of living payments planned for 2024?

There are currently no more cost of living payments planned by the DWP for 2024.

The last one should have hit bank accounts by February 22, if you were eligible.

If you think you should have had a payment but you can’t see it in your bank account, you can report it through the government’s website.

Before reporting a missing payment, you should check your bank, building society or credit union account, or your payment exception service voucher receipt.

Find out more about the cost of living payment here.

What bills are going up in April 2024?

Council tax, water and broadband bills are going up in April.

The majority of councils are expected to hike up council tax by the maximum amount of 4.99%. That works out at an extra £103 a year for an average property in Band D.

For councils in particularly dire straits, the government has given permission to exceed the maximum increase in council tax. Birmingham City Council is expected to hike council tax by 21% in the next two years, for example.

Find out where to get help if you can’t afford your council tax here.

Water bills are also going up. Water UK predicts that in England and Wales, households will face an extra £28 a year on average, a rise of 6.2%. In Scotland, households can expect to pay an extra £35.95 on average, an increase of 8.8%.

Get help if you can’t afford your water bills here.

Broadband and mobile companies are also expected to increase their bills. O2 and Virgin Media have the biggest increases planned at 8.8%.

But the good news is that our energy bills are falling. The typical household will pay an average of £1,690 a year from April, down from £1,928.

Where else can I get cost of living help?

Benefits aren’t stretching far enough in the cost of living crisis – but there are other options out there for people who need it.

People who are struggling financially may be eligible for charitable grants. You can find out what grants might be available to you using Turn2Us’ grant search on the charity’s website. There are a huge range of grants available for different people – including those who are bereaved, disabled, unemployed, redundant, ill, a carer, veteran, young person or old person. Grants are also usually available to people who have no recourse to public funds and cannot claim welfare benefits. 

If you are unable to pay your bills, your local council may have a scheme that can help you. Local councils may be able to give you debt advice, help you get hold of furniture and support you through food and fuel poverty. Your council may also have a local welfare assistance scheme, also known as crisis support. You can also find out what support your council offers through End Furniture Poverty’s local welfare assistance finder or by contacting your local authority directly.

You can find your local food bank through the Trussell Trust’s website or the IFAN’s member’s map. You can also call the Trussell Trust’s free helplines and talk to a trained adviser. It’s 0808 208 2138 if you live in England or Wales, and 0800 915 4604 if you live in Northern Ireland. You should contact your local council if you live in Scotland.

There’s lots more cost of living help available to people who need it – we round it up here.

At the Big Issue, we want to help get you through the cost of living crisis. Here are some of our articles with extensive information to help you navigate the circumstances at the moment. 

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share about this? We want to hear from you. Get in touch and tell us more.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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