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Big change to Universal Credit, benefits and state pension next week

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THOUSANDS on Government benefits can expect a big change from next week.

A number of benefits are paid on the first working day before any bank holiday dates.

Benefits will be paid early to thousands next week

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Benefits will be paid early to thousands next weekCredit: Alamy

It means if you are due to be paid on May 27, the Spring Bank Holiday, you will receive your payment on May 24.

If your payments are due on May 25 or 26, you will also receive them on May 24.

This is because benefit payments due on weekend days are paid the first working day before.

The official Government guidance states: “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.”

Bear in mind, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make most of the payments for the above benefits.

However, HMRC is responsible for paying out tax credits.

If you claim any of the following benefits you could see your benefit payment land earlier next week:

How does work affect Universal Credit?

Your National Insurance number dictates what day you receive your state pension on.

If you’re due cash on May 27, you should get paid on May 24 instead.

If you don’t receive your benefit payment one working day before the bank holiday, contact the DWP directly.

You can also submit a complaint to them to get a problem sorted if your payment is wrong.

Your benefit amount won’t change if it is paid early, unless there’s been a change in circumstances which impacts how much you are due.

Are you missing out on benefits?

YOU can use a benefits calculator to help check that you are not missing out on money you are entitled to

Charity Turn2Us’ benefits calculator works out what you could get.

Entitledto’s free calculator determines whether you qualify for various benefits, tax credit and Universal Credit.

MoneySavingExpert.com and charity StepChange both have benefits tools powered by Entitledto’s data.

You can use Policy in Practice’s calculator to determine which benefits you could receive and how much cash you’ll have left over each month after paying for housing costs.

Your exact entitlement will only be clear when you make a claim, but calculators can indicate what you might be eligible for.

If you do get paid early next week, make sure you budget accordingly as the wait between that payment and the next one will be longer than usual.

What are the payment dates for other bank holidays?

There are three bank holidays before the end of this year which could impact when you receive your benefits.

Here’s when the DWP or HMRC will make your payments if you’re expecting them on a public holiday:

  • August 26 – payments will be made on August 23 instead
  • December 25 and 26 – payments will be made on December 24 instead

Other benefit changes this month

Benefits have also risen for millions of households.

The vast majority have risen by 6.7%, in line with the consumer price index (CPI) measure of inflation from last September.

Others are rising by 8.5%, such as the state pension and Pension Credit.

Of course, how much your benefit payment will rise by depends on the amount you were receiving before.

For example, someone receiving £292.11 a month in Universal Credit the last financial year will now start receiving £311.68.

One other change has hit tens of thousands on Universal Credit this month.

The DWP has increased the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET), which means 180,000 on the benefit will now have to step up their search for work or risk having payments stopped.

The AET threshold was previously 15 hours, but this has been upped to 18 hours.

The change means anyone working fewer than 18 hours a week and earning less than £892 a month, or £1,437 for couples, will have fresh requirements to meet with DWP officials.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing money-sm@news.co.uk.

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