IT’S all change at Christmas as benefit payment dates can be different to usual.
And there could also be a bonus coming for some people too this festive season.
Benefit payment dates can be different over Christmas and new year[/caption]
Christmas 2021 is at the weekend, with December 25 on a Saturday followed by Boxing Day on the Sunday 26.
Because of that, you get bank holiday on the Monday and Tuesday after – December 27 and 28 – which are the next normal working days.
These “substitute” bank holidays mean that benefits are not paid on these days.
Here we explain when you can expect to get paid and which benefits are affected.
When will my benefits be paid over Christmas 2021?
If your benefit payment date falls on a bank holiday, you’ll usually be paid on the working day before.
That means you will get your money earlier than usual on Friday December 24 – Christmas Eve – which is a normal working day.
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If you normal payment date falls on a bank holiday, you don’t need to do anything – you should get the money earlier on December 24 automatically.
You’ll get your payment as usual if your payment date falls on a normal day that’s not a bank holiday this festive season.
What benefits are paid early?
Here’s the full list of benefit payments which you can expect to be paid early if affected by the bank holiday.
- Universal credit
- State pension
- Child benefit
- Tax credits
- Employment support allowance (ESA)
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Carer’s allowance
- Pension credit
- Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- Attendance allowance
Will the amount I’m paid change?
Just because the date you’re paid changes, doesn’t mean you’ll get more or less.
Your payment will stay the same, unless you’ve has a change of circumstance that affects how much you get at the same time.
Don’t forget that if you’re paid early you’ll have a bit longer to wait until your following payment the month after.
Make sure you budget for those extra days so you don’t end up short.
Do I get a Christmas bonus?
Some people qualify for a Christmas bonus if they are getting certain benefits.
It’s a one-off payment of £10 that’s tax-free and won’t affect the benefit you’re getting.
You shouldn’t have to do anything to get the Christmas bonus, if you’re eligible to receive it you should get it automatically.
It will be paid into the same account where you normally receive your benefits and will have the reference DWP XB.
The exact date it’s paid varies, so keep an eye out for it in the run up to Christmas.
You need to be getting the following benefits to get the extra cash:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Disability Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
- Disability Living Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate
- Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)
- Mobility Supplement
- Pension Credit – the guarantee element
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
- Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
- Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
- War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
- War Widow’s Pension
- Widowed Mother’s Allowance
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance
- Widow’s Pension
What if my benefit payment is delayed over the Christmas Bank Holiday?
If your money is not paid on time, then you should double-check the date you get paid normally and contact your bank before calling DWP or HMRC, depending on the benefit.
If something’s not right, you can also submit a complaint to the DWP.
What other bank holidays could affect my benefit payments?
Christmas isn’t the only bank holiday coming up over the festive season.
There are also bank holidays over the new year:
- January 3, 2022
- January 4, 2022 (Scotland only)
In most cases, the DWP says if your payment is due on a bank holiday you’ll be paid on the working day before.
As new years day falls on Saturday this year, there is a bank holiday on Monday, January 3, 2022.
That means you can expect payment early on Friday, December 31, 2021.
But there are differences and for Scotland and Northern Ireland bank holidays, payment could come after.
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