PIP, Universal Credit and ESA Christmas payment changes and new fraud controls explained


The Work and Pensions Department confirmed Christmas changes to universal credit and other benefits, as well as new fraud checks.

As November is just around the corner, another holiday season is just around the corner and all eyes are now on the Christmas festivities and shopping for gifts for family and friends.

For most people, this is one of the most expensive times of the year, so keeping your finances in check is important.

READ MORE: Nine announcements to expect from Rishi Sunak’s fall budget

For people who depend on benefits such as Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Incapacity Allowance, it is also essential to know the changes to the payments. until December 25.

As Online mirror reports, benefit payment dates will change during the holiday season and may not arrive when scheduled.

Many applicants have already been hit by the £ 20 cut in universal credit with the temporary hike suspended by the government.

This, combined with support measures above Covid such as time off and self-employed income support scheme subsidies that are coming to an end, means this Christmas could be a lot more difficult than usual, so planning is essential.

If you’re on benefits, here’s what you need to know this Christmas:

Christmas benefit payment dates

Benefit payments usually arrive in bank accounts earlier than expected during the Christmas season.

Indeed, universal credit and other benefits are not paid on weekends or holidays.

There are some perks of getting paid early, such as having access to your money – but that means you’ll have to stretch that money because you’ll have more of a wait for your next payment.

Christmas falls on a Saturday and Boxing Day on a Sunday. This means that Monday December 27 and Tuesday December 28 will both be official holidays this year.

So, if your benefit payment is due in your bank account on December 25, 26, 27 or 28, you will receive it on Friday, December 24 instead.

If you are due to be paid on January 1, 2 or 3, you will be paid on Friday December 31.

Christmas advantage £ 10 bonus

Those claiming certain benefits are expected to receive a £ 10 bonus from the government in early December.

The single payment is not offered to those who claim only universal credit.

Rather, it is granted to recipients of PIP, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Allowance and other payments.

You can see the full list here.

But some families have called the £ 10 payment an ‘insult’ at a time when millions of people will struggle to heat their homes this winter.

Changes to the labor tax credit

People claiming a labor tax credit did not need to notify HMRC of temporary reductions in their working hours during the Covid pandemic.

This means that even if your hours had been reduced, you would have been treated as if you had worked your regular hours and your benefit payment would not have been affected.

But HMRC says that requirement will return from November 25.

This means that any changes to your working hours must be reported within a month or you could face a fine of £ 300.

New benefit fraud controls

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced new measures to tackle fraud and verify claimants live in the UK.

The new rules require universal credit applicants to take a photo outside their home and next to their street sign, as well as with a copy from their local newspaper.

But the DWP said the new checks are a last resort and have only been requested by a “small number” of applicants.

He said applicants will be able to request an in-person assessment if they are unable to submit the evidence.

New support for Scottish applicant

Changes in benefits are coming for families and carers living in Scotland.

A new allowance for disabled children is introduced to replace the living allowance for children from 22 November.

Payments range from £ 23.70 per week to £ 89.60 depending on your child’s individual circumstances.

Families eligible for free school meals will also receive an additional £ 160 per child before Christmas.

Meanwhile, those receiving Child Care Allowance in Scotland will see their December payment double to £ 462.80.

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