Universal Credit payments over the Christmas period have been causing a lot of confusion. UC is paid on the same date each month, but if your payment date falls on a weekend or a bank holiday then you will receive it earlier.
These are the official dates, as released by DWP. We are aware that some online articles have published incorrect dates.
Your payment will not be made to you if your statement is not showing.
You can check your statement is showing after your assessment period has ended.
If there are less than 2 working days until your payment and you cannot see your statement then call Universal Credit on 08003285644.
If you claim UC then you may be eligible for a £25 payment for every week of cold weather during winter. Find out if you qualify for this payment and when to expect it...
Who is eligible for this payment?
You can qualify for Cold Weather Payment if you have a disabled child on your claim. There is no rule regarding earnings if you have a disabled child on your claim.
You can qualify for Cold Weather Payment if you have no earnings on your claim and one of the following applies -
When is payment made?
The scheme runs 1st November to 31st March.
The temperature in your area has to have been (or expected to be) below 0°C for at least 7 days.
If you are eligible, payment should be made automatically into your bank account.
This is paid as a separate payment and should be made within 14 days.
Check if any payments are due in your area using the postcode checker below.
If payment is due and has not been made then send a message to 'service issues' on your journal.
Our members have been awaiting the news that deductions for advances and debts were to be reduced and today, all Gov.UK pages updated to clarify that only 30% can now be deducted (previously 40%).
That could mean that UC payments go up for a lot of claimants, while debts are paid back at a slower rate.
A single person, 25 or over, could be paying back £31.76 less per month
A couple, 25 or over could be paying back £49.89 less per month
A single person, under 25, could be paying back £25.18 less per month
A couple, under 25, could be paying back £39.52 less per month
This will apply for new claimants and existing claimants.
People on Universal Credit end up in a situation where they pay back money direct from their monthly payment because they need to take an advance during their long wait for first payment. Many claimants have no other source, or very little income, while they wait 1 month and 7 days for first payment.
Many claimants as well, move onto Universal Credit and HMRC recalculates old tax credit payments, as far back as 10 years+ looking for amounts that were overpaid. Often the claimant had no prior knowledge of these amounts and it was through no fault of their own.
The new maximum amounts for repayments of advances and ordinary debts is as follows -
A single person, 25 or over, £95.35
A couple, 25 or over, £149.67
A single person, under 25, £75.53
A couple, under 25, £118.56
SO IS THIS AS GOOD AS IT SOUNDS????
At Universal Credit Essentials, we are always a little dubious when we hear rumours of things that are planned to happen, in favour of the claimant. When reducing debts and overpayments was first suggested, they also said that advance repayments would be collected over the extended period of 16 months. So far, no guidance or information has been changed to say that is happening.
This looks like new claim advance amounts will be capped at an even lower amount offered, so that repayments can be collected within the 12 scheduled payments. Unless they make further changes immediately, some new claimants will have access to much lower amounts of advance than previously.
A new claim advance is calculated to be equal to 100% of monthly payment of UC, before deductions BUT capped at what can be collected in repayments within the time frame - 'affordability'.
Judging by the info we have been able to source today, the affordability amounts will be drastically lower.
The maximum advance any of the following groups can be offered, if their circumstances allowed will be -
Single person, under 25 - £1208.50, now £906.37
Single person, 25 or over - £1525.54, now £1144.15
Couple, under 25 - £1895.96, now £1422.72
Couple, 25 or over - £2394.67, now £1796.00
These may sound like substantial amounts, but people will only be offered these amounts, if their circumstances would allow full payment of benefit at this amount, or above, if they had no deductions.
Many families will find it very difficult to survive one month and 7 days until first payment, while expected to pay rent, electric and gas, food possibly even childcare bills.
Read more about....
NEW CLAIM ADVANCES
DEDUCTIONS FOR ADVANCES AND DEBTS
Waiting to see your Universal Credit payment breakdown causes many people anxiety, whether it is your first payment on you have already had numerous payments.
There is often the worry that more debts will be taken or that wages won't be picked up correctly.
The payment section on the Universal Credit online accounts always states that your payment breakdown will be available 2 days after your assessment period ends (see example below), but really this is quite misleading as only a small percentage of payments automatically calculate.
If something needs manually actioned on your claim - like maybe something needs verified, childcare needs added, debt deductions need sorted or for no apparent reason - your case manager needs to do calculate it before it can be uploaded onto the system.
You won't get any notification that this has happened and it can appear at any point after your assessment period has ended.
It is perfectly normal for the breakdown not to appear immediately. The wording on the payment breakdown screen was altered a few months ago and incorrectly builds expectation that it should appear immediately.
Our advice is, if it is not showing 2 days before payment is due to you, do call them on 08003285644 to prompt them.
Obviously though, if you are struggling badly with anxiety, budgeting or you think there is going to be a problem then initially send a message to 'payments' prompting them and if no response then do call. Generally when staff first arrive in the office each day, they do deal with claims that have overdue payments on them because obviously people that have not received any payment on due date to take priority.
If your payment breakdown is not showing by payment date then you will not be paid until it is showing. Do not sit and wait for a payment if the breakdown is not showing - call them urgently.
For those who are unsure where a payment breakdown appears, we have included a screen shot below. If you do not have this button, then your first payment breakdown has not been calculated.
More information about....
HOW MUCH CAN BE DEDUCTED FOR DEBTS
IF YOU CANNOT MANAGE ONE PAYMENT PER MONTH