Remember to plan Universal Credit at Christmas

Remember to plan Universal Credit at Christmas

Remember to plan Universal Credit at Christmas

As we are fast approaching the festive season it is time to start thinking about the last pay day of the year and not only how far can you make it stretch but also how your benefits will be affected.

Many employers will pay early due to Christmas which may sound great but actually could result in 2 wage packets falling within 1 Monthly Assessment Period (MAP) for a lot of Universal Credit claimants. This matters because when your Universal Credit is assessed the extra wages being included could significantly reduce or even wipe out your entitlement.

Unfortunately the Department of Work and Pensions are not moving on their stance to fix this issue yet but HMRC have issued guidance for employers about the reporting of wages which should prevent this from happening. The guidance states that if you do receive your pay early over the Christmas period that your employer should report your normal (or contractual) payday to HMRC.

For example: if you receive your pay on Friday 20 December 2019 but the normal/contractual payment date is Tuesday 31 December 2019, your employer needs to report the 31st December so that you are not penalised and your benefit entitlement reduced.

Avoid any nasty surprises and speak to your employer straight away to make sure they are aware of this and are ready to report your normal pay date opposed to your early one for December.

If you have any questions about this or would like any further help or guidance the Tenancy Sustainment Team will be more than happy to help you. Please give us a ring on 01452 833217 or send us an email to tenancy.sustainment@gch.co.uk