Housing: PM announces changes to Universal Credit rules
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As the cost of living crisis continues, many people will be scaling back due to the increase in food, energy bills and petrol. Those on low incomes and reliant on state benefits such as the DWP’s Universal Credit will be eager to find out when they will be paid over the holidays so they can effectively budget.
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, meaning the festive period is going to be a four-day weekend for most.
When either Christmas or Boxing Day falls on a weekend, the following weekday will become a bank holiday.
In 2022, there will be a bank holiday on Monday, December 26 and Tuesday, December 27.
Universal Credit payments are typically fixed to the same date each month but any amounts normally due on December 24, 25, 26, or 27 should instead be paid out on Friday, December 23 – the last working day before Christmas.
Although people will have their money in time for Christmas they will have to make it last longer until their normal payment date in January.
Some people on benefits may also be due the Christmas Bonus.
The Christmas Bonus is a one-off tax-free £10 payment made before Christmas, paid to people who get certain benefits in the qualifying week. This is normally the first full week of December.
People do not need to claim the Christmas Bonus – they should get it automatically.
However, the criteria for the bonus means some claimants could miss out.
To qualify for the Christmas Bonus, claimants must be living in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland.
They must have been living in one of these places during the qualifying week, which this year is expected to be December 5 to 11.
The DWP will write to eligible claimants advising them that they will be receiving the £10 bonus early in December.
People must also get at least one of the following benefits in the qualifying week:
- Adult disability payment
- Armed Forces independence payment
- Attendance allowance
- Carer’s allowance
- Child disability payment
- Constant attendance allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- Contribution-based employment and support allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
- Disability living allowance
- Incapacity benefit at the long-term rate
- Industrial death benefit (for widows or widowers)
- Mobility supplement
- Pension credit – the guarantee element
- Personal independence payment (PIP)
- State pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
- Severe disablement allowance (transitionally protected)
- Unemployability supplement or allowance (paid under Iindustrial injuries or war pensions schemes)
- War disablement pension at state pension age
- War widow’s pension
- Widowed mother’s allowance
- Widowed parent’s allowance
- Widow’s pension.
Britons must be claiming one of these benefits in order to get the bonus.
This means many people, including those who claim Universal Credit and none of the above payments, are not eligible and will not receive the Christmas bonus.
if someone thinks they should get it, but do not receive it in December, they should contact the Jobcentre Plus office that deals with your payments or the pension service.
It’s worth noting that the DWP will make this as a separate payment, independent of the usual one, so it may arrive on a different day.
No date has been set for the payment yet but it is likely to be in early December.
Nobody needs to claim the extra £10 as it should automatically go into the account where people usually receive their benefit payments or state pension and will show as ‘DWP XB’ on a person’s bank statement.
Britons can find out more about the Christmas Bonus on GOV.UK.
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