Universal Credit Christmas payment dates – every payment before December 25
Chart shows impact of Universal Credit cuts across UK
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The Government decreased the amount Universal Credit claimants can receive on the benefit, following months of an additional £20 uplift. The pandemic-based income boost has helped millions of people get through the past year and a half. Ministers have pulled support out from under them at a critical juncture, with supply chain snafus impacting food and fuel supplies potentially until Christmas.
The sudden uncertainty will leave people in the lurch, especially those reliant on Universal Credit as a primary income.
Claimants get paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) following an initial assessment.
The DWP takes roughly five weeks to provide the first payment and issues those following on the same date.
The practice means that Universal Credit payment dates generally vary per person, but they may occasionally fall during holidays or weekends.
In 2021, winter will present several bank holiday occasions, as Christmas and Boxing Day fall on weekends.
The Government is shifting the bank holidays to the day after instead, meaning people won’t receive payments on December 25, 26, 27 and 28.
New Year’s Day also falls on a Saturday, so there is an additional bank holiday on Monday, January 3 2022.
The Government has introduced alternative dates for people due benefit payments on any of the listed bank holidays.
People expecting payments on December 25, 26, 27 and 28 will receive them on December 24.
And those due payments between January 1 and 3 also get theirs a day earlier, on December 31.
The alternate dates do not modify the original ones provided by the DWP, so claimants will have to wait longer between payments.
Many of those having to extend their income temporarily will already need to conduct some long-term budgeting.
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The £20 Universal Credit reduction is already starting to bite families as Christmas approaches.
The cut has hit more than 500,000 households, according to an analysis conducted by the Daily Mirror.
In total, 501,370 households – home to 340,000 children reliant on the benefit – will have the vital lifeline cut.
The most affected people live further north, where wages, job prospects and standards of living are lower.
The analysis identified 200,000 working people receiving the benefit who would see their incomes slashed by £1,000 annually.
The looming crisis, which experts believe will push some families into poverty, has sparked a national outcry to reinstate the uplift.
Tory peer Philippa Stroud is amongst those opposed to her party’s decision and warned nearly a million families now face poverty.
As the benefit cut took effect on October 6, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme it was “a really bleak day” for families throughout the UK.
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