DWP benefit payments can vary in how often they arrive. Most are paid once every four or two weeks, while some may come through weekly but these schedules can be upended by bank holidays.
When is the next bank holiday?
The next, and final, bank holiday of 2021 falls tomorrow across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Where benefit payment dates fall on bank holidays, they’ll usually be issued on the first working day beforehand.
The next bank holiday in the UK falls on January 3, 2022. Where claimants have their payment day fall on this date, they’ll likely actually be paid on December 31.
When a person applies for a state benefit, they’ll be asked for bank, building society or credit union account details for the money to be paid into.
It is only possible to be paid in another way if a person has problems opening or managing an account. Where claimants have trouble with their accounts, they should contact the office which pays their specific benefit(s).
The DWP has faced a number of benefit issues in recent weeks. In November, the Government faced a legal challenge regarding the uplift to Universal Credit not being extended to legacy benefits in 2020.
Two disabled individuals claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) brought the case to the High Court and it argued the Government acted “unlawfully” by failing to extend the same emergency increase of £20 given to those on Universal Credit to disabled people.
The result of this, it was claimed, led to an increasing number of disabled people struggling to afford food, rent and medication.
Should this challenge be successful, it could result in a back-payment of £1,500 for millions of benefit claimants. Louise Rubin, head of policy at Scope, commented at the time.
“The decision to withhold support from disabled people who receive legacy benefits caused many to feel abandoned,” she said.
“We’re hurtling towards a cost of living crisis, but yet again disabled people are being abandoned by the Government. Levelling up means nothing if disabled people are left behind.”
A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk at the time: “We do not comment on live court cases. It has always been the case that those who think they may be better off on Universal Credit can make a claim.”
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Also in November, the DWP began cracking down on Universal Credit claimants who failed to provide evidence of their identity to support their claim. Providing this evidence became difficult during the pandemic and as such, thousands of claimants weren’t asked to prove their identity.
However, in recent months the DWP began to reintroduce face-to-face identity checks and this led to claims that the DWP is demanding repayments from anyone who failed to respond to a request for evidence.
Some Universal Credit claimants affected by this who had not provided ID had their claims closed and the DWP began demanding that some claimants return the payments.
In some cases, the DWP arranged for automatic deductions to be automatically taken from a person’s wage and the Child Poverty Action Group were particularly critical of this. Claire Hall, a solicitor at the charity, commented: “Just as families are getting back on their feet, many of those who lost their jobs when the pandemic first hit are being put through a second ordeal by the DWP.
“Despite making legitimate claims for Universal Credit over 18 months ago, people have now received financially devastating debt notices simply because they haven’t been able to comply with requests to verify their details quickly.”
As the DWP (along with HMRC) offer a range of benefits to the public, it can be difficult to understand what is the best option. Fortunately, independent benefits calculators are available to help narrow down the choices.
These free-to-use calculators can help users find out what benefits they could get, how they can be claimed and how the benefits will be affected if the claimant starts work.
While these calculators are not provided by the Government, the state does highlight the following suitable options:
- Policy in Practice – for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
- entitledto – for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work
- Turn2us – for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours