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Universal Credit UK: DWP confirms payment date change over Christmas – are you affected?

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Universal Credit was designed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to streamline the benefits system in the UK. It means those entitled to the benefit can expect to be paid once every month in the vast majority of circumstances. The date at which claimants are paid is understandably important, as it helps them to juggle their finances and budget appropriately.

For this reason, then, it is worth noting the DWP has announced important changes to payment dates over Christmas, which are likely to impact many.

Universal Credit is usually paid on the same date once each month.

However, due to a number of bank holidays over the Christmas period, there is likely to be some level of disruption.

And this year, with Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on a Friday, alongside a couple of other bank holidays, it is worth making note of changes which could affect a person’s payment.

Firstly, those who would, in alternative circumstances, be set to receive their payment on December 25 will be affected.

But there is good news, as the DWP states payment will instead be received earlier in this circumstance.

Therefore, these individuals can expect their payment on Christmas Eve – December 24.

However, the next major day over the Christmas period is Boxing Day – which this year falls on a Saturday.

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As such, an additional bank holiday has been built into the calendar, falling on December 28.

The payment date for those who would expect to receive their sum will also change, jumping ahead to December 24 as well.

This is likely to be good news for those who need to budget over Christmas, and so will not have to wait longer than usual to receive payment from the DWP.

Finally, the start of 2021 on New Year’s Day is also scheduled in the calendar as a bank holiday, having further impact on claimants.

January 1 2021, is exactly a week after Christmas Day, and so also falls on a Friday.

Given this circumstance, the DWP has said those expecting payment then will also be paid at an earlier date.

Claimants can expect to receive their sum on the day before, Thursday, December 31 2020.

And this will ensure Britons can kick off the new year with the money they need to support them.

Universal Credit is paid directly into a person’s bank, building society or credit union account.

However, for those who are unable to open these accounts, the DWP advises calling the helpline to arrange an alternative payment method.

Those applying for the benefit for the first time will usually need to wait for approximately five weeks to receive their payment.

This is because they will need to go through a one month assessment, and then wait seven additional days for the payment to reach their account.

And for those unsure about their payment, the DWP also issues a monthly statement informing Britons of how much they can expect to receive. 

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