Hi all,

I wrote the below post as at the meeting at the Community Centre a question was asked about the benefit cap for families with more than two children and the recent changes that came into force in Feb 2019. hopefully this post will help everyone to understand the implications for families with more than two children, particularly if the third child is born  after the 6th April 2017

benefit cap more than 2 children

About 15,000 families will no longer face having their benefits capped as a result of this as the government agreed not to extend the benefits cap to families with more than two children from February 2019 but we should bear in mind that  initially more than 70,000 low-income families lost up to £2,800 each last year after having their entitlement to benefits taken away as a result of the government’s “two-child policy”, official figures show.

“Amber Rudd said those with children born before the system began in 2017 would remain exempt, as she aimed to ensure it was “compassionate and fair”.

Read for about the changes and decide for yourself.

New claims

Families with 3 or more children can now make new claims to Universal Credit. Claimants will be entitled to an additional amount for any child born before 6 April 2017 this became effective 1st February 2019.

However Universal Credit will not pay for a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, unless there are special circumstances e.g. multiple births or fostered/adopted children.

In practice this means, if you’re already claiming Universal Credit, and have 2 children and you then give birth to a new child, you won’t get an additional amount of Universal Credit for that new child.

John and Josephine have three children, all born before 6 April 2017. They were already getting universal credit including child elements for all three children. The two-child limit will not apply regarding their third child. However, from 6 April 2017, if John and Josephine have another child the limit will apply regarding that child (and they will not get a child element for them) unless an exception applies’

You’ll still be entitled to additional support in respect of any disabled children, even if you aren’t getting an additional child amount of Universal Credit for the disabled child.

Existing claims

If you’re currently getting Universal Credit, or have been getting Universal Credit within the past 6 months, you’ll stay on Universal Credit or be able to re-claim Universal Credit. This also means that any additional child amounts of Universal Credit you are (or were) getting will stay the same – as long as your circumstances don’t change. However there are wsome exceptions to the rule see below.

Multiple births

You can get extra Universal Credit for your third and subsequent children if they are born as part of a multiple birth.

Adopted children

Since 28 November 2018, the DWP policy for when they will pay for children who are adopted has changed.

If you’re responsible for a child or children through adoption then you’ll be able to receive the additional payments for these children. This will not affect any payments you receive for any other children in your household.

Children living with family and friends in a caring arrangement

Since 28 November 2018, again the DWP policy for when they will pay for children in non-parental/caring arrangements has changed.

If you’re responsible for a child or children as part of non-parental caring arrangement then you’ll be able to receive the additional payments for these children. This will not affect any payments you receive for any other children in your household.

You can get an additional amount for any child or children who are living with you as part of either:

  • a formal caring arrangement
  • an informal caring arrangement, where if this arrangement were not in place the child would be looked after by a local authority

Please read and share we all need to be aware of the new changes in relation to universal credit and this is not being publicised enough

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