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Benefit payments are available to many people right across the country and come in different forms. However, many of these benefits are administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The government body is responsible for overseeing a number of benefits, such as Universal Credit and legacy benefits, to ensure everyone entitled is receiving the correct amount.
They must also make sure claimants get their sum at the correct time, by informing them of any potential changes.
Every year, bank holidays affect when many claimants are ultimately paid, and the approaching Christmas period is no different.
As a result, then, it is vital claimants make note of the changes to their payment dates to check they receive the money to which they are entitled.
Firstly, is Universal Credit, available to Britons on a low income or who are out of work.
Generally, throughout the year, people can expect to be paid their Universal Credit once every month.
But the Christmas period has changed the dates at which people can expect the payment to hit their bank account.
This year, Christmas Day, December 25th, falls on a Friday, which means a slight alteration in the payment date expected.
Those receiving Universal Credit, the DWP has said, can expect their payment slightly earlier – on Christmas Eve.
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However, this year Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, meaning there is an extra bank holiday built into the calendar.
The Boxing Day Bank Holiday is on December 28th, meaning the payment date for those who would expect to be paid at this time will also change.
These individuals can also expect to be paid on Christmas Eve – earlier than their standard payment.
Finally, over the Christmas period, the last payment date change will affect those who are due to receive their sum on January 1st 2021 – New Year’s Day.
As this is a bank holiday as well, claimants will receive their Universal Credit payment the day before, a Thursday, December 31st 2020.
This means they can enter the new year without concern about not having enough through benefits.
Other people receive tax credit payments – made every week or every four weeks depending on a person’s arrangement.
And the changes are identical to that of Universal Credit with those expecting to be paid on Christmas Day or the bank holiday following Boxing Day now being paid on December 24th.
Another key benefit payment is overseen by HMRC, which is Child Benefit, providing support to those responsible for raising a child.
As the benefit is only paid on either a Monday or a Tuesday, the rules around bank holidays are easier to remember.
Those expecting to be paid on December 28th, which is a bank holiday this year, will now be paid on December 24th.
Christmas Eve, then, is an important date to bear in mind for the vast majority of benefit claimants across the country as this is when they can expect to be paid for the holidays.
If for any reason a payment is received late, then people should check their payment date before reaching out to the DWP or HMRC.
Citizens Advice has said if the problem relates to a person’s bank or building society, this should be their first port of call.
However, in exceptional circumstances, if there is a mistake at the end of the DWP or HMRC, then people should reach out to these bodies without delay.
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