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Universal Credit is usually paid on the same date of every month after the initial assessment period is completed. If this date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, claimants will be paid on the first working day before.
The DWP has released their schedule for when various state benefit payments will be paid throughout the Christmas period and these changes should be heeded by those yet to need Universal Credit but may have to put a claim through soon.
Initial Universal Credit claims can take up to five weeks to process.
With December quickly approaching, those who have yet to claim Universal Credit will have to plan ahead if they think they may need to ahead of Christmas.
The DWP has confirmed if payment dates fall on December 25, 26, 27 or 28.
This means to ensure payments come through before Christmas, new claimants will need to get their applications processed no later than November 20.
To ensure eligibility, claimants need:
- To be on a low income or out of work
- To be aged between 18 and state pension age
- To have less than £16,000 in savings
- To be living in the UK
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The actual payments themselves are based on individual claimants’ circumstances.
A standard allowance will be applicable to all claimants but then additional elements will be added on for people who have children, a disability or need help covering rent etc.
These circumstantial payments will be assessed every month, meaning payments can fluctuate if circumstances change.
Additionally, a benefit cap exists which may limit the total amount a person can receive from Universal Credit.
The standard allowances in place are as follows:
- £342.72 per month for single claimants under 25
- £409.89 per month for single claimants aged 25 or over
- £488.59 per month for couples and both are under 25
- £594.04 per month for couples and either are aged 25 or over
Universal Credit payments have come into focus recently as there have been calls to make an introduced uplift in amounts permanent.
In the middle of the year, Rishi Sunak boosted Universal Credit payments by around £20 per week in a temporary measure designed to keep people afloat during the pandemic.
Recently, Boris Johnson was called on to make this change permanent in Parliament but the Prime Minister refused to do so, as he detailed in his response to the query: ““I am proud that we have been able to uprate it in the way that we have, and we will continue to support people across the country, with the biggest cash increase in the national living wage this year.
“The result of Universal Credit so far has been that there are 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty now than there were in 2010.
“It is vital that we tackle poverty in this country. That is why this Government are so proud of what we did with the national living wage.
“We are putting another £1.7billion into Universal Credit by 2023-24. If that does not give him the answer he wants, he can ask again next week.
“We will continue to support people and families across this country, and we will continue to spend £95billion a year in this country on working-age welfare.
“But the best thing we can do for people on Universal Credit is to get this virus down, get our economy moving again and get them back into well-paid, high-skilled jobs – and that is what we are going to do.”
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