Universal Credit and other benefit payments may be affected by change this week

Millions of Britons rely upon Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits each year to provide them with the support they need. This includes those with children, a disability, or those on low income or out of work who are given structural support by the government. And benefits have gained increasing importance for more people during the coronavirus crisis, with many needing to turn to benefits from the government to support them through this difficult time.


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There have been increased pressures on the benefit system in recent weeks, particularly in regards to Universal Credit – a living support payment available to some who are unemployed and on a low income.

However, a change this week is due to affect benefit payments for many Britons who are entitled to make a claim.

This week, the early May Bank Holiday is set to fall on Friday, May 8, in a somewhat unprecedented change.

The bank holiday, which traditionally falls on a Monday, has been shifted to the day before the weekend in order to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day – when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe in the Second World War.

The early May Bank Holiday has only been moved once before – in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of VE Day. 

As a result of the earlier Bank Holiday, many Britons can expect to receive their benefit payments at an earlier date than planned.

In terms of Universal Credit, those due to receive the monthly payment on May 8, can now receive it a day earlier on Thursday, May 7.

This is because May 7 is the last working day before the bank holiday in the UK.

And there is good news for select state pensioners with regards to their benefit payment.

The day a pensioner receives the pension sum is based on the last two digits of their National Insurance number, meaning those with the digits 80 to 99 will be affected.

These people, who receive their benefit on a Friday, will also receive an earlier payment, if it is due on May 8.

Those entitled to a host of other benefits including Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance could also be entitled to receive their money early.

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And households expecting to be paid Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit on Friday will also be entitled to an earlier payment. 

Furthermore, those who receive the payment over the weekend will also receive their payment on Thursday, May 7. 

Britons may choose to check what date they usually receive payments to see if they should get money early.

This change, however, is issued on an automatic basis, so claimants do not have to take any action to receive the money earlier.

The DWP states those in doubt about when they will receive payments can reach out to the organisation to track payments.

The government website provides a list of relevant contacts and helplines to assist those who need questions answered surrounding their benefits.

A bank holiday is also scheduled to take place at the end of May, meaning payments can be expected at an earlier date within the next few weeks, also. 

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