Universal Credit claimants may get payment early next week – Christmas payments explained

Universal Credit: Expert on ‘difficulty’ of monthly payment

Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced revised lockdown measures amid the Christmas period, cutting the planned relaxation of rules to enable three households to mix for five days over the festivities to just Christmas Day. The Prime Minister also unveiled a new Tier Four, introducing it in areas such as London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire from midnight.

It means residents in these areas are being ordered to stay at home and all non-essential shops must close, while Christmas bubbles have been cancelled.

Support bubbles do remain in place, however.

In a Downing Street press conference four days ahead of the planned relaxation, Mr Johnson said yesterday: “We cannot continue with Christmas as planned.”

While Christmas will no doubt be different this year, the bank holidays remain.

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As such, a number of DWP payments will be made earlier than usual this month.

This includes the six-in-one benefit payment Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is paid once per month, usually into the claimant’s bank, building society or credit union account.

It usually takes around five weeks to get the first payment.

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This is made up of a one-month assessment period and up to seven days for the payment to reach one’s account.

Those who need help with living costs while they wait for their first payment can apply for an advance, however it’s vital to note this must be paid back.

Recipients of an advance start to pay it back after their first payment, and it must be paid back within 12 months.

Universal Credit payments will not be delayed because of the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, the government has confirmed.

Instead, should a payment date have been due on a bank holiday or weekend, it will be made on the first working day prior.

This means those with payments due on Thursday December 24 will get the payment on the same day, while those expecting a payment on Friday December 25 will get it a day earlier, on Christmas Eve, instead.

With the weekend falling directly after Christmas Day this year, Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, meaning Monday December 28 is a bank holiday this year.

As such, those expecting a payment on the Monday would instead be paid on Thursday December 24.

“Call the helpline straight away if your payment does not arrive on time,” states the government website.

The government has provided a timetable of when Universal Credit and other benefits will be paid amid the festivities.

When your payment is due – When Universal Credit will be paid – When other benefits will be paid (not Universal Credit)

Thursday 24 December – Thursday 24 December – Wednesday 23 December

Friday 25 December – Thursday 24 December – Wednesday 23 December

Monday 28 December – Thursday 24 December – Wednesday 23 December

Friday 1 January – Thursday 31 December – Thursday 31 December

Monday 4 January – Monday 4 January – Monday 4 January (or Thursday 31 December if you live in Scotland)

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