DWP increases and benefit changes from April 2024

Millions of Britons received increases to their benefits this month.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed last November that most benefits paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will increase for the 2024/25 financial year.

The rises will be welcomed by families who are struggling to make ends meet, in light of high living costs including energy bills, which rose again in January 2024.

ESA changes

The employment and support allowance (ESA) is among the benefits increasing. According to DWP data, 23 groups of medical conditions could make people eligible to receive help. The benefit is intended to help with extra costs relating to a disability or health condition that reduces how much people can work.

The medical conditions are.

  • Certain infectious and parasitic diseases;

  • Neoplasms;

  • Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism;

  • Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases;

  • Mental and behavioural disorders;

  • Diseases of the nervous system;

  • Diseases of the eye and adnexa;

  • Diseases of the ear and mastoid process;

  • Diseases of the circulatory system;

  • Diseases of the respiratory system;

  • Diseases of the digestive system;

  • Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system;

  • Disease of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue;

  • Diseases of the genito-urinary system;

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium;

  • Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period;

  • Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities;

  • Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings not elsewhere classified;

  • Injury, poisoning, and certain other consequences of external causes;

  • External causes of morbidity and mortality;

  • Factors influencing health status and contact with health services.

Like other benefits, ESA rates are rising from April 2024 by 6.7% in line with CPI inflation. The new weekly rates and how much they have increased are as follows.

Personal allowances

  • Single under 25: £71.70 (from £67.20)

  • Single, 25 or over: £90.50 (from £84.80)

  • Lone parent, under 18: £71.70 (from £67.20)

  • Lone parent, over 18: £90.50 (from £84.80)


  • Both under 18: £71.70 from (67.20)

  • Both under 18 with child: £108.30 (from £101.50)

  • Both under 18 (main phase): £90.50 (from £84.80)

  • Both under 18 with child (main phase): £142.30 (from £133.30)

  • Both over 18: £142.25 (from £133.30)


  • Enhanced disability, single: £20.85 (from £19.55)

  • Enhanced disability, couple: £29.75 (from £27.90)

Severe disability

  • Severe disability, single: £81.50 (from £76.40)

  • Severe disability, couple (lower rate): £81.50 (from £76.40)

  • Severe disability, couple (higher rate): £163 (from £152.80)

  • Carer: £45.60 (from £42.75)


  • Pensioner, single with work-related activity component: £91.70 (from £82.55)

  • Pensioner, single with support component: £79.95 (from £71.55)

  • Pensioner, single with no component: £127.65 (from £116.25)

  • Pensioner, couple with work-related activity component: £154.75 (from £139.85)

  • Pensioner, couple with support component: £143 (from £128.85)

  • Pensioner, couple with no component: £190.70 (from £173.55)


  • Work-related activity: £35.95 (from £33.70)

  • Support group: £47.70 (from £44.70)

The chancellor's budget announcement also included a number of changes to the benefit system. These include.

Universal credit

The maximum time someone on universal credit has to repay a “budgeting advance” will increase from 12 to 24 months. A budgeting advance is a loan of universal credit. This will apply to loans taken out from December 2024 onwards. This measure will allow claimants repay smaller amounts but over a longer period of time.

Child benefits

Under the new system, parents won't have to pay any of their child benefit back until they start earning £60,000 a year – the current limit is £50,000. This is also known as the “high income child benefit tax charge”. This change will take place from April 2024.

The chancellor also announced a consultation on changing the child benefit system so that it is based on a household’s earnings, rather than individual earnings.

Household support fund

The chancellor announced extra funding that allows the household support fund to be extended for a further six months. Local authorities use this to provide support with essential costs to vulnerable groups in their areas.