Universal Credit and benefits payments to be paid early for some in April 2020 | Personal Finance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that benefits payments due on certain dates in April will be made early. Should a person expect a benefit payment – including Universal Credit – over the Easter weekend next month, the day it is received will be early.

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So, which dates will be affected?

On Friday April 10 and Monday April 13, all offices and phone lines are closed due to being bank holidays.

However, they will open again as usual on Tuesday April 14.

All benefit payments are affected, the DWP has confirmed.

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Universal Credit UK: Some people may get their payment early in April 2020 (Image: GETTY)

Universal Credit UK: April 2020 calendar

Universal Credit UK: Some payments will be affected by the bank holidays in April 2020 (Image: GETTY)How will dates be affected?

If the benefits were due on the following dates, the actual pay date will be on the first working date prior.

Due date: Friday April 10. Actual pay date: Thursday April 9.

Due date: Monday April 13. Actual pay date: Thursday April 9.

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Amid the changes, some people may wonder whether this would mean they’d get a different amount.

However, the DWP has confirmed that if a person is paid early, they will get the usual payment amount.

That said, the amount may change if they have a change in circumstances.

Those affected do not need to take any action in order to get the payment on the earlier date.

Universal Credit is a payment which is usually made monthly, in arrears.

It can take up to five weeks for a person to receive the first payment.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, charities have called for the government to end the five-week wait.

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Yesterday, Citizens Advice set out a series of measures which the charity is calling for the government to take.

These include:

Sick pay

Legislating to provide Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) at 80 percent of their wage for people earning less than the Lower Earnings Limit.Temporarily increasing SSP and the level of benefits to support people facing sustained drops in income.

Universal Credit

Suspending the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed people.Making advance payments a grant for those making new claims and advised to self-isolate.Making use of repayment pauses for benefit debt and third party deductions.

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Household bills

Extending the existing Cold Weather Payment to provide support for self-isolating households in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits.

Housing

Legislating to suspend section 21 to temporarily stop no-fault evictions for private renters.Amending the grounds under which section 8 can be used to ensure people aren’t being evicted as a consequence of being in arrears due to coronavirus.

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The government has made it clear that it will do everything in its power to support the public health response to this virus, but financial protections are crucial to ensure people can follow guidance to self-isolate.

“Millions of families across the country are already balanced on a financial cliff edge. Their biggest worry right now is that the knock-on effects of the coronavirus could send them tumbling over, with missed bills and rent arrears.

“No one should fear being pushed into poverty if they fall ill or need to self-isolate. Yet without further emergency measures to protect society’s most vulnerable, this will be the reality for millions of people.”