BENEFIT payment dates are often affected by bank holidays throughout the year.
The Spring Bank Holiday is coming up on May 31 just a few weeks on from the early May bank holiday which took place at the start of the month.
Bank holidays are often a day off work for many and it is also a day when the processing of payments will not take place as normal.
This means some benefit claimants will get their cash on dates they may not expect.
This includes Universal Credit, tax credits, Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
Some of these payments may even be earlier than usual, which means you could be paid next week instead.
If the payment would normally be on this year's May bank holiday date then you might get paid early.
How to contact the DWP for help
WHAT number you call depends on what type of benefit you need help with.
- Call for free: 0800 328 9344
- Welsh speaking: 0800 012 1888
- Those with hearing problems can textphone on: 0800 328 1344
Lines are open from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.
- Call for free: 0300 200 3100
- Outside UK: +44 161 210 3086
You'll need your National Insurance number or child benefit number with you when you call.
Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am until 8pm and on Saturdays from 8am until 4pm.
- Call HMRC for free: 0345 300 3900
- From outside the UK: +44 2890 538 192
Lines open from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am until 4pm on Saturday.
The helpline isn't open on bank holidays.
- Call for free: 0800 328 9344
- Welsh speaking: 0800 328 1744
- Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Lines open 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.
The Spring Bank Holiday will also affect Jobcentre opening times.
Branches and phone lines will be closed on Monday, May 31 and will open as normal again from Tuesday, June 1.
Here's everything you need to know about how the extra days off will affect your benefit payments:
When will my tax credits be paid over the Spring Bank Holiday in May?
Both child tax credits and working tax credits which top up your income are paid either weekly or every four weeks
The DWP has confirmed that these tax credits will be paid on the last working day before the May 31 bank holiday.
That means payments will be made on Friday, May 28.
When will my Universal Credit be paid over the Spring Bank Holiday in May?
Universal Credit is paid to claimants on the same day once a month.
The same will apply to Universal Credit payments over this weekend too, so if your monthly UC payment would usually land on May 31 you will be paid early.
You will get the payment on the last working day before the bank holiday, which means you will receive the payout on Friday, May 28.
This early payment should happen automatically and you'll get your money in the same way you usually do.
If your payment date falls on a normal day that's not a bank holiday, then you'll get your payment as normal.
What to do if you have problems claiming Universal Credit
IF you’re experiencing trouble applying for your Universal Credit, or the payments just don’t cover costs, here are your options:
- Apply for an advance – Claimants are able to get some cash within five days rather than waiting weeks for their first payment. But it's a loan which means the repayments will be automatically deducted from your future Universal Credit payout.
- Alternative Payment Arrangements – If you're falling behind on rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will get your payment sent directly to your landlord. You might also be able to change your payments to get them more frequently, or you can split the payments if you're part of a couple.
- Budgeting Advance – You may be able to get help from the Government for emergency household costs of up to £348 if you're single, £464 if you're part of a couple or £812 if you have children. These are only in cases like your cooker breaking down or for help getting a job. You'll have to repay the advance through your regular Universal Credit payments. You'll still have to repay the loan, even if you stop claiming for Universal Credit.
- Cut your Council Tax – You might be able to get a discount on your Council Tax by applying for a Council Tax Reduction. Alternatively, you might be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments to help cover your rent.
- Foodbanks – If you're really hard up and struggling to buy food and toiletries, you can find your local foodbank who will provide you with help for free. You can find your nearest one on the Trussell Trust website.
When will my Child Benefit be paid over the Spring Bank Holiday in May?
Child benefit is paid either weekly or every four weeks.
Once again, child benefit payments which are usually set to go out on May 31 will also land in bank accounts early.
This means you'll get payment on Friday, May 28 due to the bank holiday.
What other benefit payment dates will change over the Spring Bank Holiday in May?
There are other benefit payments which are likely to follow the same changes too.
This includes other benefits such as:
- Employment support allowance (ESA)
- Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Carer's allowance
- Pension credit
- Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- Attendance allowance
- State pension
So if you normally get any of these benefits and are expecting a payment on Monday, May 31, you could get it earlier on Friday, May 28 instead.
Will the amount I'm paid change?
You will receive the same amount of benefits that you normally do, even if you're paid early.
But if you have had a change in circumstances such as starting a new job, moving home or having a child, this can affect your payment.
The DWP says that you don't need to do anything in order to be paid early.
Remember too that being paid earlier than normal means that you'll need to make it stretch an extra day the following month.
Make sure you take this into account when working out your household budgets.
What if my payment is delayed this bank holiday?
If your payment is not paid on time, then you should double-check the date on your award notice and contact your bank before calling HMRC.
If something's not right, you can also submit a complaint to the DWP.
What other bank holidays could affect my benefit payments?
There are a number of bank holidays throughout the year, with the next one for all Brits being in August.
These could also affect when benefit payments arrive.
Here is a list of the rest for 2021:
- July 12 (Northern Ireland only)
- August 2 (Scotland only)
- August 30
- December 27
- December 28
- 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.
But there are differences for tax credits and child benefit and for Scotland and Northern Ireland bank holidays, these may be paid after.
You can see the dates for child benefit payments here and for tax credits here.
More than half a million people who receive Universal Credit or other benefits have had their payments slashed in a tax raid.
Meanwhile, Brits on Universal Credit can now get paid for up to 16 weeks while they re-train.
Workers on Universal Credit urged to check payslips or they could risk losing benefits this month.
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