Universal Credit Q&A: What is the Christmas bonus and when is it paid?

UNIVERSAL Credit claimants could be entitled to a Christmas bonus this year worth £10.

Our expert Nichola Salvato, who has four years experience in welfare rights, explains everything you need to know.

To be entitled to the Christmas bonus, you’ll need to be claiming both Universal Credit and certain other benefits.

You should also note that payment dates for Universal Credit and other benefits will be different over the festive season.

In the latest instalment of our Universal Credit Q&A, Nichola, answers a question from one worried mum-of-one ahead of the festive holidays.

Do you have a question? Email [email protected]

I’m a mum-of-one and I claim Carer’s Allowance for looking after my son. 

Is it true I can get a Christmas bonus on top of my Universal Credit payment this year?

Samantha, via email

Nichola replies: Christmas time can be financially challenging for most people.

This year, to go a small way to easing the pressure, all Universal Credit claimants that are also claiming any of the following benefits will be entitled to an extra £10 bonus.

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
  • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (once the main phase of the benefit is entered after the first 13 weeks of claim)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate
  • Industrial Death Benefit (for widows or widowers)
  • Mobility Supplement
  • Pension Credit – the guarantee element
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • State Pension (including Graduated Retirement Benefit)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
  • Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
  • War Disablement Pension at State Pension age
  • War Widow’s Pension
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension

The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work

UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.

By the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7million will be on it.

But there are big problems with the flagship system – it takes five weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.

And while working families can claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to six months for the money.

Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.

It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the government to:

  1. Get paid faster: The government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop millions from being pushed into debt.
  2. Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4million families.
  3. Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85% of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.

Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.

Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email [email protected] to share your story.

The bonus should be paid to you automatically if you are entitled to it, there is no need for you to claim.

Millions of families will benefit from the extra and the payments be made from this week with your ordinary UC payment. 

It will show up on your bank statement as: DWP XB. The bonus is tax free and will not affect any of your other benefits.

To qualify, as well as receiving one of the above benefits, you must also live in or be a resident of one of the following:

  • The UK
  • The Channel Islands
  • The Isle of Man
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Any European Economic Area (EEA) country

If you think that you qualify and but you don’t receive a payment automatically, contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Pension Centre.

In more Universal Credit news, a decision on claimants keeping an extra £1,000 won't be made until next year.

It comes as unemployment is expected to treble by the end of the year, with uncertainty on the jobs market believed to continue into 2021.

The Sun's Make Universal Credit Work campaign has been calling for changes to the controversial benefit to help struggling households.

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