Universal Credit: Expert on ‘difficulty’ of monthly payment
Universal Credit is designed to offer support to people who are on a low income, or who have found themselves out of work. The payment has been an important lifeline for millions of people who have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and will continue to provide support amid the new restrictions this winter. However, as the festive season approaches, there is some potential good news for claimants.
This is because many will be able to get their hands on not just one, but maybe even two cash bonuses in time for the festive season.
These are likely to provide additional financial help, and may be welcomed by those who are making a claim.
The first cash bonus available this Christmas, is issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Each year, the DWP provides a number of claimants, not just those on Universal Credit, with an additional sum for the festive season.
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The payment is one-off and tax-free, and made to claimants before Christmas arrives.
This usually takes place in the first full week of December, but with so many claimants to provide the payment to, some may even continue to get their sum this week.
People have no need to claim, as the DWP should issue this payment to them automatically.
The Christmas Bonus is currently set at £10 for those who are eligible, and will not affect any other benefits a person receives.
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It should be paid directly into a person’s bank account, and could show up as ‘DWP XB’ on a person’s bank statement.
To be eligible a person must be present or ‘ordinarily resident’ in one of the eligible areas last week.
The areas concerned are the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Switzerland or any European Economic Area (EEA).
A second cash bonus which could be available to Britons may climb into the hundreds of pounds.
Universal Credit claimants who started a Help to Save account when it first opened are set to receive their planned bonus.
Some 60,000 people should have now received their first bonus payment if they started to put funds away two years ago.
The account allows people to receive a bonus of 50p from the government for every £1 they save over a four year period.
Under Help to Save, people receive two tax-free bonuses over four years – one after two years, and the second at the end of the period.
The latest HMRC figures have shown how much people are set to receive.
Savers who are in Greater London received the highest average bonus payment at £385.
This has been closely followed by savers who are in the East Midlands, with average bonus payments standing at £382.
Savers have now received more than £22.8million in Help to Save bonuses, HMRC has said.
The bonus, instead of being paid into the Help to Save, will be directly routed into a person’s bank account.
As such, eligible Britons are encouraged to check if they have received the bonus to which they are entitled.
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