THOUSANDS on Universal Credit can expect to receive payments earlier this month.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) deposits money into some benefit recipients bank accounts early over the festive period.
If your payment is due on a bank holiday or weekend day it will be paid the first working day before this date.
That means if you are due to be paid on December 23, 24, 25 and 26 this year you will receive your payment on December 22 instead.
Meanwhile, if you are due to be paid on December 30, 31 or January 1 the cash will land in your account on December 29.
A number of other benefit recipients can expect to receive their payments earlier this month too. The full list is:
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- Attendance Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
- State Pension
- Tax credits (such as Working Tax Credit)
The Government's website says: "Benefits are usually paid straight into your bank, building society or credit union account.
"If your payment date is on a weekend or a bank holiday you’ll usually be paid on the working day before.
"This may be different for tax credits and Child Benefit."
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Will the amount I receive change?
The simple answer is no. The amount you receive should stay the same, unless your circumstances have changed which affects your entitlement.
Do remember that if you are paid early, you will have to wait longer before receiving your next payment.
So bear that in mind when budgeting, especially as December can be such an expensive month.
If you don't receive your payment early, check the date you are usually paid and contact your bank.
If your bank doesn't know anything about the payment, you should contact the DWP to see if it was made.
You can also submit a complaint to the DWP over any unpaid benefits.
What extra help you can get on Universal Credit
You might be able to get up to a £500 Sure Start maternity grant if you are a new or expectant mother and on Universal Credit.
The money is designed to help cover the cost of having a child and does not need to be paid back, nor does it affect your other benefits or tax credits.
You won't usually qualify for one of the grants if you already have a child aged under 16.
But there are exceptions, for example if you are expecting twins or triplets.
Those on Universal Credit also qualify for a Help to Save account, which offers you a 50% boost on any savings.
You can add up to £50 into one of the accounts each month for up to four years and receive 50p for every £1 added.
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So, if you added the maximum amount each month for 48 months, you would end up with a £1,200 bonus.
That's not all – there's 12 freebies and discounts you can get in December to help with the cost of living.
You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.
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