ADWP Increases and Benefit Changes from April 2024

ADWP Increases and Benefit Changes from April 2024

In an announcement that promises relief to millions of British families grappling with the economic pinch, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has paved the way for significant increases in benefits paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the fiscal year 2024/25. Amidst soaring living costs, particularly energy bills that have witnessed another hike in January 2024, these adjustments are a beacon of hope for many struggling to balance the books.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Increase

The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is central to the uplift, a crucial financial lifeline for individuals hindered by disabilities or health conditions from full employment. The DWP outlines 23 medical condition categories eligible for ESA, ranging from infectious diseases to mental and behavioral disorders, underscoring the wide-reaching impact of this benefit. In alignment with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation, ESA rates are set for a 6.7% increase from April 2024.

New Weekly ESA Rates

This adjustment translates into tangible increases across various categories. For individuals under 25, the weekly personal allowance will rise from £67.20 to £71.70, and for those 25 or over, from £84.80 to £90.50. Lone parents and couples, depending on their age and parental status, will see similar hikes. Premiums for enhanced disability and severe disability, both for singles and couples, will also see an increase, alongside carer and pensioner rates.

Broader Benefit System Changes

Beyond ESA, the chancellor’s announcement heralds broader reforms within the universal credit system, child benefits, and the household support fund. Notably, the repayment period for a universal credit “budgeting advance” will double to 24 months for loans taken from December 2024. This move aims to alleviate repayment burdens by allowing for smaller, more manageable repayments over a longer period.

Child benefit reforms are equally impactful. Effective April 2024, the earnings threshold for the high-income child benefit tax charge will be raised from £50,000 to £60,000. Furthermore, a consultation on recalibrating child benefits to reflect household rather than individual earnings is set to potentially reshape eligibility and support levels.

The household support fund receives a vital extension and funding boost, affirming the chancellor’s commitment to aiding vulnerable groups. Administered by local authorities, this fund plays a pivotal role in offering essential cost support, reflecting a targeted approach to welfare.

Universal Credit Adjustments

The adjustments to universal credit signify a thoughtful response to the financial strains on benefit claimants. By extending the budgeting advance repayment period, the government addresses the practicalities of financial management for those on universal credit, easing the pressure on households navigating the complexities of budgeting and financial planning.

Child Benefit Reforms

The changes to child benefits mark a significant shift in the approach to supporting families. By increasing the earnings threshold for the repayment of child benefits, the government acknowledges the financial challenges faced by families and adjusts the system to provide broader support. The move to base child benefits on household earnings further indicates a progressive stance towards more equitable benefit distribution, ensuring that support aligns more closely with overall household needs.

Household Support Fund Extension

The extension and enhancement of the household support fund underscore a commitment to supporting the most vulnerable. This initiative offers practical assistance for essential costs, enabling local authorities to address the immediate needs of their communities directly. The fund’s flexibility allows for a tailored approach to support, reflecting an understanding of the varied challenges faced by individuals and families across the country.

Implications of the Changes

Chancellor Hunt’s suite of changes reflects a comprehensive strategy to alleviate the economic challenges faced by millions. Increasing benefit rates in line with inflation and revising key aspects of the universal credit and child benefit systems.

The government demonstrates a proactive and responsive approach to welfare. These measures, coupled with the targeted support provided by the extended household support fund, represent a multifaceted effort to ensure financial stability and support for those most in need.

As the UK navigates through economic uncertainty, these benefits increase, and system reforms are crucial to providing a safety net for the nation’s most vulnerable populations. They offer immediate financial relief and a broader reassurance of the government’s commitment to supporting its citizens through challenging times.


The announcement of DWP benefit increases and system changes for April 2024 marks a significant moment in the UK’s approach to welfare and support for its citizens. With millions set to benefit from these adjustments, the government’s actions are a clear response to the economic pressures facing families and individuals nationwide. As these changes roll out, the hope is that they will bring financial relief and a stronger sense of security and stability to those who need it most.