The reason for the date change is that Christmas falls on a weekend this year, so therefore benefits claimants will not receive their usual payments at the regular date. According to the Government’s website, Universal Credit payments are usually paid monthly to the recipient through the DWP. However, if their payment date falls on a bank holiday, then claimants will be able to receive their payments earlier than usual. Bank holidays also include days such as Christmas or Easter.
As Christmas and Boxing Day both fall on a weekend, this means both Monday, December 27 and Tuesday December 28 will both be official Bank Holidays this year
As a result of this, claimants who get their Universal Credit payment on those dates will get their benefits on the Friday before Christmas Day, which this year will be Christmas Eve.
So if you are due to be paid on either December 27 or December 28, you will instead be paid on December 24, 2021.
A similar date change is set to affect claimants who are due to be paid Universal Credit by the DWP around the New Year.
If someone is set to be paid on January 3, 2022, they will instead be paid on December 31, 2021.
While some claimants are affected by these date changes, the amount someone receives and how they are paid will remain the same which also means future payments will not be impacted.
Recently, the Government has faced criticism for its decision to cut the £20 uplift to Universal Credit payments, which was introduced in the early days of the pandemic to support households cope financially.
Last year, while the uplift was still in place, a survey by Save the Children found that 37 percent of households on Universal Credit will rely on charity food parcels or charity Christmas meals.
An additional 21 percent of respondents admitted that they will get donated Christmas gifts due to lack of income, emphasising how many benefit claimants are set to be hit hard over the holiday season.
On the date of the cut, October 6, 2021, Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy & Partnerships at JRF, expressed her disappointment over the benefit cut which will hit families hardest on the lead up to Christmas.
Ms Schemuecker said: “The Prime Minister has not had the guts to look the millions of people whose incomes are being cut today in the eye and tell them how they are expected to get through the year ahead.
“The Prime Minister’s attempt to strike an upbeat tone is completely at odds with the despair people are feeling and the cost-of-living crisis we are now facing.
“He has chosen to cut £20 a week from the incomes of millions including many who are in work as well as those who cannot work due to sickness, disability or caring responsibilities.
“Promises of a ‘high wage, high skill economy’ that will take years to reach will offer no comfort to families whose incomes have been cut, and the Government knows this.
“It is a sign of profound disrespect that he did not even acknowledge the struggle people across the country on low incomes are facing on the very day that the biggest ever cut to social security comes into force.”
Currently, the average amount someone under 25 gets from Universal Credit is £257.33, after the recent cut to payments.
For couples under the age of 25, they will receive a monthly payment of £403.93 for both people.
Individuals under the age of 25 will get £324.84 per month in Universal Credit payments, while couples will receive £509.91.
A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk concerning the end of the uplift: “As announced by the Chancellor at the Budget, the uplift to Universal Credit was always temporary. It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.
“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the Government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.”