Christmas Universal Credit, PIP and other benefit payment dates announced

HOUSEHOLDS who claim any type of benefit may find their payment dates differ over Christmas and New Year.

This is because there are three bank holidays to take into account during the festive season, which fall on December 25, December 28 and January 1.

December 28 is a replacement bank holiday for Boxing Day, which is on a Saturday this year.

It's likely you'll receive your benefits early if your payment date falls on a bank holiday – but that means you'll have to make it last a bit longer than normal.

If you think your payment is affected, you won’t need to do anything as the date will automatically change.

But if you haven’t received your payment when you think you should have, call the relevant helplines before Christmas Day.

If you don’t, you could end up waiting until December 29 to get through to someone to help due to the bank holidays.

Here's all that you need to know about when your benefits will be paid over Christmas:

How to contact the DWP for help

WHAT number you call depends on what type of benefit you need help with. 

Universal Credit

  • Call for free: 0800 328 9344
  • Welsh speaking: 0800 012 1888
  • Those with hearing problems can textphone on: 0800 328 1344

Lines are open from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Child benefit

  • Call for free: 0300 200 3100
  • Outside UK: +44 161 210 3086

You'll need your National Insurance number or child benefit number with you when you call.

Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am until 8pm and on Saturdays from 8amm until 4pm.

Tax credits: 

  • Call HMRC for free: 0345 300 3900
  • From outside the UK: +44 2890 538 192

Lines open from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am until 4pm on Saturday.

The helpline isn't open on bank holidays.

Other benefits

  • Call for free: 0800 328 9344
  • Welsh speaking: 0800 328 1744
  • Textphone: 0800 169 0314

Lines open 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is paid in arrears once a month into your bank, building society or credit union account in a single payment.

Claimants will usually be paid on the same date each month, except for when your payment date falls on a bank holiday or weekend.

If your payment date is on a bank holiday or weekend, you'll usually get paid the Friday before.

For payments due on the 25th, 26th, 27th or 28th of each month, you should get paid on December 24 this year.

If you get paid on the 1st of every month, you'll be paid on December 31.

  • Due date December 24 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 25 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 26 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 27 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 28 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 29 – Payment date December 29
  • Due date December 30 – Payment date December 30
  • Due date December 31 – Payment date December 31
  • Due date January 1 – Payment date December 31

Christmas and New Year bank holidays 2020

HERE are the bank holidays for Christmas and New Year in 2020:

Friday, December 25: Christmas Day

Monday, December 28: Replacement Boxing Day bank holiday

Friday, January 1: New Year's Day

PIP

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is paid every four weeks on the same day of the week.

Like Universal Credit, payment is never made on a weekend or bank holiday.

If your payment is due on December 25 or December 28 this year, you can expect to be paid on December 24.

For payments due on January 1, claimants can expect to get paid on December 31.

  • Due date December 24 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 25 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 28 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 29 – Payment date December 29
  • Due date December 30 – Payment date December 30
  • Due date December 31 – Payment date December 31
  • Due date January 1 – Payment date December 31

Child benefit

Child benefit is usually paid every four weeks, or weekly if you or your partner claims certain benefits like Income Support.

Payments are made every Monday or Tuesday.

This means if you were due to get paid on December 28, you'll get paid on December 24 instead.

Payment dates also differ for claimants in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Households in Scotland who are due to be paid on January 4 will be paid on December 31. Or for payments due on January 5, money will hit accounts a day later on January 6.

For people in Northern Ireland with payments due on December 29, payment will be a day later on December 30.

  • Due date December 28 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 29 – Payment date December 29, except in Northern Ireland where it will be December 30
  • Due date January 4 – Payment date December 31 in Scotland only
  • Due date January 5 – Payment date January 6 in Scotland only

Tax credits

Child tax credits or working tax credits top-up your household income if you're not earning enough to make ends meet.

You can choose whether you want to get paid weekly or every four weeks when you first apply.

Again, if your payment falls on a weekend or on a bank holiday, you'll likely be paid early.

For people in Northern Ireland with benefits due on December 29, payment will be made on December 24.

In Scotland, claimants with money due on January 4 will get paid on December 31.

  • Due date December 25 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 28 – Payment date December 24
  • Due date December 29 – Payment date December 29, except in Northern Ireland where it will be December 24.
  • Due date January 1 – Payment date December 31
  • Due date January 4 – Payment date December 31 in Scotland only

Other benefits

Benefits such as employment support allowance (ESA), Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), carer's allowance, pension credit, attendance allowance and the state pension may also be affected by the Christmas bank holidays.

The day that you're paid depends on when you applied for the benefit.

Check out the Gov.uk website or ring the relevant helpline to find out if your payment is affected.

The new payment dates over Christmas and New Year come as a think tank warned six million households on Universal Credit will have benefits cut by £1,000 a year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak increased benefits for vulnerable households by £20 a week, equal to £1,040 a year, to help them through the coronavirus pandemic – but this was only a temporary measure.

Unemployment is expected to treble by the end of the year, with uncertainty on the jobs market believed to continue into 2021.

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