The holiday season is often the most expensive time of year for people and with Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to stay on top of your finances.
People claiming benefits, including those from the universal credit, may experience changes in their payment date during these winter months, bring back the Mirror.
Millions of people have already struggled financially after the government decided to cut the Â£ 20 increase in universal credit.
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This is combined with the end of other Covid support measures, such as leave and subsidies from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
If you’re counting on the benefits, we’ll explain the upcoming changes to you:
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Christmas benefit payment dates
Benefit payments usually arrive in bank accounts earlier than expected during the Christmas season.
Indeed, universal credit and other benefits are not paid on weekends or holidays.
There are some benefits to getting paid sooner, such as having access to your money – but that means you’ll have to make that money stretch more because you’ll have more time to wait until your next payment.
Christmas falls on a Saturday and Boxing Day on a Sunday. This means that Monday December 27 and Tuesday December 28 will both be official holidays this year.
So, if your benefit payment is due in your bank account on December 25, 26, 27 or 28, you will receive it on Friday, December 24 instead.
If you are due to be paid on January 1, 2 or 3, you will be paid on Friday December 31.
Christmas advantage Â£ 10 bonus
Those claiming certain benefits are expected to receive a Â£ 10 bonus from the government in early December.
The single payment is not offered to those who claim only universal credit.
Rather, it is granted to people who receive Personal Independence Payments (PIPs), Jobseeker’s Allowances, Incapacity Allowances and other payments.
But some families have called the Â£ 10 payment an ‘insult’ at a time when millions of people will struggle to heat their homes this winter.
Changes to the labor tax credit
People claiming a labor tax credit did not need to notify HMRC of temporary reductions in their working hours during the Covid pandemic.
This means that even if your hours had been reduced, you would have been treated as if you had worked your regular hours and your benefit payment would not have been affected.
But HMRC says that requirement will return from November 25.
This means that any changes to your working hours must be reported within a month or you could face a fine of Â£ 300.
New benefit fraud checks
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced new measures to tackle fraud and verify claimants live in the UK.
The new rules require universal credit applicants to take a photo outside their home and next to their street sign, as well as with a copy from their local newspaper.
But the DWP said the new checks are a last resort and have only been requested by a “small number” of applicants.
He said applicants will be able to request an in-person assessment if they are unable to submit the evidence.