While the government has pledged to raise benefits in line with inflation, as well as increase the National Living Wage, taxes are set forsignificant hikes in 2023. It comes as research bythe Resolution Foundation found the rate of inflation for the UK’s poorest households is 12.5% - 1.4 percentage-points higher than the average UK price rises recorded by the ONS.
Bank holidays can sometimes throw a spanner in the works when it comes to making these plans. This is because the dates when you might usually expect your benefits to be paid can be changed.
The biggest one of them all - Christmas Day 2022 - is now only a few weeks away. So, how will it change your benefit payment dates this year - and how will it work over New Year? Here’s everything you need to know.
When is Christmas 2022?
25 December will fall on a Sunday this year, meaning Christmas 2022 is going to be falling across a four-day weekend. When one or both of Christmas and Boxing Day falls on a weekend, the following weekday becomes a bank holiday.
So, in 2022, there will be bank holidays on Monday 26 December and Tuesday 27 December. The rest of the week is a normal working week.
What does Christmas 2022 mean for benefits payments?
Normally, if your benefits payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is due to go into your bank account on a bank holiday or weekend day, in most cases, it will appear instead on the working day before this date.
So, in practice, it means that payments set to arrive on 24, 25, 26 or 27 of the month will instead be paid on Friday 23 December this Christmas. If you get your payment on the second of the month, the one due to go into your account on 2 January 2023 should instead appear on Friday 30 December 2022.
For those who receive a form of benefit that is paid out fortnightly - including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance - if your payment date is going to fall on any of the bank holidays, you will instead receive it on the last working day beforehand.
Anyone who is paid their benefits on a different date from those listed above can expect their money to arrive on the same day as usual.
When will I be paid the DWP Christmas bonus?
A one-off Christmas bonus is set to be paid alongside some state benefits this Christmas. The tax-free £10 should be paid out automatically alongside your regular payments. These are the types of benefits that qualify:
- Adult Disability Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Disability Payment
- 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
What other support is available over Christmas?
There are several ongoing cost of living support measures the government has introduced in a bid to help people through the winter months. The two most notable ones are the £400 energy bills support grant and the energy price guarantee.
The former should already have automatically taken £66 off your bill for October, will take off £66 in November and will then discount £67 from your bills monthly between December 2022 and March 2023. Those with old prepay meters have been sent vouchers they can use to have the discount applied to their card or key.
Meanwhile, the latter support is being applied at wholesale energy market level, but means your unit prices and standing charges will be capped until April 2023.
A £650 cost of living payment is also available to households on certain means-tested benefits (as long as they began or made a successful claim as of Wednesday, May 25 2022), including:
- Universal credit
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income support
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
- Pension credit
The £650 payment is being made in two instalments. The first came through in July, while those who are eligible can expect to receive the second payment arrive by Wednesday 23 November, the DWP has said.
More support from the government is due to arrive in 2023, with Jeremy Hunt announcing several new payments in his Autumn Statement 2022.