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Universal Credit: When will You be Paid this Christmas?

Wondering when you’ll get your benefits payment this Christmas? We’ve got you covered!

Image of UK bank notes £10's, £20's, and £50's with a blue text box that reads "Universal Credit When Will You Be Paid" with white outlines of Christmas trees

This year, the economic pressures of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in millions of people relying on benefits for much some needed financial relief. So, if you’re new to universal credit or claim other benefits like PIP, Tax Credits or Child Benefit and would like to know when your payments are due around the Christmas period, then we’ve got you covered.

This year, there are a number of bank holidays which could mean some payments may be pushed forward, which is certainly handy when you have some last-minute Christmas presents to purchase.

Christmas Bank Dates & Bank Holidays

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has advised that some payments will be made earlier if you’re due to receive your money between the 24th December and 4th of January, so it’s important to make a note and budget your money accordingly if you’re expected to receive your payment any sooner.

This year, Christmas Day (December 25th) will fall on a Friday and Boxing Day (26th December) on a Saturday – meaning an extra bank holiday will take place on the Monday. New Year’s Day (1st January) is also a Friday so if your payment is due on one of these days, you can expect to receive it a day earlier.  

Here’s a breakdown of the payment dates which that fall over the festive period:

Universal Credit Payment Dates

  • Usual payment date: December 24, 2020  Actual payment date: December 24
  • Usual payment date: December 25, 26, 27, 28, 2020 – Actual payment date: December 24
  • Usual payment date: December 29, 30, 31, 2020 – No change to the payment date
  • Usual payment date: January 1, 2021 – Actual payment date: December 31
  • Usual payment date: January 4, 2021 – No change to the payment date

Tax Credits Payment Dates

Tax credits are usually paid every week or every four weeks and are administered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have slightly different dates for their payments over the festive period.

  • Usual payment date: December 25, 26, 27, 28, 2020 – Actual payment date: December 24
  • Usual payment date: December 29, 30, 31, 2020 – No change to the payment date (unless in Northern Ireland, where it will be paid on December 24)
  • Usual payment date: January 1, 2021 – Actual Payment date December 31
  • Usual payment date: January 42021 – No change to payment (except in Scotland where payment will be made on December 31)
  • Usual payment date: January 5, 2021  Actual payment date December 31

Child Benefit Payment Dates

Like payments for Tax Credits, Child Benefits are also paid via the HMRC and again have slightly different dates to be aware of.

  • Usual payment date: December 25, 26, 27, 28, 2020 – Actual payment date: December 24
  • Usual payment date: December 29, 2020 – No change to the payment date (except Northern Ireland where it will be paid on December 30)
  • Usual payment date: December 30, 31, 2020 – No change to the payment date
  • Usual payment date: January 1, 2021 – Actual Payment date December 31
  • Usual payment date: January 42021 – Actual payment date December 31
  • Usual payment date: January 5, 2021  Actual payment date January 6, 2021

Personal Independent Payments (PIP) Dates

PIP payments are usually paid every four weeks on the same day of the week and will never fall over a weekend.

  • Usual payment date: December 24, 2020  Actual payment date: December 24
  • Usual payment date: December 25, 26, 27, 28, 2020 – Actual payment date: December 24
  • Usual payment date: December 29, 30, 31, 2020 – No change to the payment date
  • Usual payment date: January 1, 2021 – Actual payment date: December 31
  • Usual payment date: January 4, 2021 – No change to the payment date

What to do if You Don’t Receive Your Payment?

Depending on your banking provider, your funds are usually available just after midnight on the day they’re due. However, if you’re able to receive your payment a day earlier than expected, this is usually after 4pm. So, you should check your account to see whether the payment may still be pending.

The first step is to log onto your universal credit portal to check you’ve not received any sanctions, (although this is unlikely under the current coronavirus pandemic). Remember to check the payments section and receive your journal to ensure you’ve not missed any messages regarding your payment.

Who can I Contact About Missing Payments?

Depending on the type of benefits you receive, you can contact the DWP and HMRC for free on the following numbers. However, they will be closed during the bank holiday period.

Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 328 5644 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)

PIP Helpline: 0800 121 4433 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)

Child Benefit Helpline: 0300 200 3100

Tax Credits Helpline: 0345 300 3900

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