Please find below a message from disability charity Contact a Family regarding important changes to the benefits system from April 2010. A summary of key changes is listed below and you can find more detailed information in the documents attached:
Every April, the government makes a number of changes to the rules governing the benefits system and other forms of financial support for families. Many parents report that they find it very difficult to keep abreast of these new rules and initiatives.
- Additional Child Trust Fund payments - this article outlines the new annual payments that the government are to start making into disabled childrens CTF accounts.
- The Savings Gateway – later this year the government will launch a new type of savings account for certain benefit claimants, including those on Carer's Allowance. For every £1 you save into a savings gateway account, the government adds an extra 50p.
- Carers Allowance earnings limit – The earnings limit for Carers Allowance has been £95 pw since October 2007. In April 2010 it will be increased to £100 pw. This article explains how earnings are calculated for Carer's Allowance and the deductions that can be made from gross earnings.
- Changes to treatment of child maintenance – From April 2010, child maintenance payments will be completely ignored as income when calculating means tested benefits. This will allow thousands of parents to qualify for benefits such as income support for the first time.