The change from the housing benefit system to Universal Credit has so far not been the smoothest of transitions. Many tenants have found themselves credited with less than they expected and need, whereas some have been initially left without any payments, due to delays in the system.
Next week, Universal Credit claimants will experience payment date changes, and it would be understandable if landlords and tenants alike are feeling tentative about what may be in store…
With this in mind, Money Advice Service, a provider of free and impartial financial advice, set up by the Government, has provided this helpful table, stating the Christmas payment date changes for those receiving Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Child Benefits and Employment Support Allowance:
|Benefit||Normal Payment Date||Christmas Payment Date|
|Universal Credit||25th or 26th||24th December|
|Universal Credit||29th or 30th||28th December|
|Universal Credit||1st||31st December|
|Universal Credit||27th, 28th, 31st, 2nd (January)||Payment date remains the same|
|Tax Credits||25th-27th||24th December|
|Tax Credits||28th||27th December|
|Tax Credits||1st or 2nd January||31st December|
|Tax Credits||3rd January||2nd January|
|Child Benefit||25th||24th December|
|Child Benefit||1st January||24th December|
|Employment Support Allowance||25th||21st December|
|Employment Support Allowance||1st January||31st December|
For those who find themselves paid earlier or later than anticipated, some keen budgeting may be in order, to prevent it from disrupting your Christmas anymore than necessary…
Money Advice Service has also provided some top tips on how to get ahead and prepare for the worst-case scenario:
- If you want to buy anything in the Boxing Day sales, make a note of the item’s price now to see if the saving is worth it.
- Before you do your Christmas food shop, use a comparison tool to compare the price of your basket.
- Make a meal plan for all the leftover food after Christmas to ensure none of it goes to waste.
- Leave your shopping until the last minute – prices often start to come down by 20th December.
- If you’re staying with friends or family over Christmas, set the heating in your home to a lower temperature to save money.
- Give a different gift – a voucher of your time, or an I.O.U for a day out.
- Take your loyalty cards everywhere – many retailers offer bonus points over the festive period.
- Get cashback on any presents that you buy online.
- Don’t borrow, it’s not worth it for one day!
However, we have our fingers crossed that these payment issues have been ironed out of the system, and that all payments are received as expected. On behalf of the entire team at Just Landlords, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!