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Universal Credit is overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who is responsible for ensuring those eligible receive the amount to which they are entitled. The DWP benefit is designed to help those who are out of work or have a low income. To be eligible, one must be 18 or over in most circumstances, but under state pension age and resident in the UK.
They must also have less than £16,000 in savings between themselves and a partner to apply.
Millions more have claimed Universal Credit this year, as the impacts of COVID-19 set in.
And with a second lockdown across England, and tougher restrictions ahead of the festive season, it is likely many more will need to make a claim.
It is this group of new claimants who will need to pay attention to an impending deadline if they hope to receive the support they need.
Today marks five weeks until Christmas Day, in what is likely to be good news for those who need a break after a tough year.
However, as a first payment of Universal Credit typically takes five weeks to arrive, taking action sooner rather than later on a claim is key.
Putting in an application for Universal Credit today, or in the next few days, is likely to ensure a sum is received for the all-important day.
Alternatively, Britons may wish to consider an advance payment, which allows them to receive the sum for an emergency need in up to two working days.
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It is worth noting, though, that this sum must ultimately be paid back to the DWP over time.
The wait for Universal Credit is designed to ensure a claim can be amply checked before being issued.
It is made up of a one month assessment period, and then up to seven days for the payment to reach a person’s account.
The benefit sum from the DWP is subsequently paid once a month, usually into an individual’s bank, building society or credit union account.
However, while it is important to note the deadline for claims, Christmas payment dates are equally as vital to bear in mind.
Universal Credit is set to be paid early due to a series of bank holidays for many people who usually receive the sum on a certain date.
If a payment is due on Christmas Day, December 25, then Britons can expect to be paid a day earlier, on December 24 instead.
This year, Boxing Day falls on a weekend, meaning claimants scheduled to be paid on December 26, will also receive payment on December 24.
But because Boxing Day is on a weekend this year, an additional bank holiday has been built into the calendar.
As a result, those expecting to be paid on December 28 will instead also receive payment on December 24.
Some changes occur once again when it comes to the New Year.
If a person expects a New Year’s Eve payment, they will be paid on the same day as usual.
But those intended to receive payment on January 1, 2021, will instead be paid on December 31.
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