Payments Over Christmas

Make sure that your Universal Credit Payments are not altered.

Getting paid early Christmas
– especially if your employer notifies HMRC early, can lead to your UC payments being affected so that you may end up with either no or little UC. The following example gives an illustration of the potential problem.

Danielle has an Assessment Period that runs from the 25th of each month to the 24th day of the following month. Normally she is paid on the 26th of each month.

Because of Christmas she is paid on the 21st December. If this is reported by HMRC promptly, the UC computer will look at any pay received in the Assessment Period and then use that data to calculate her UC.

In this case, the UC computer will assume that Danielle receives one payment on the 26th November and one payment on the 21st December. As Danielle’s Assessment Period runs from the 25th of each month to the 24th day of the following month, the UC computer will think Danielle has been paid twice in one assessment period and calculate her UC accordingly, leaving her with little or no UC in the next month.

The Government have now recognised that such anomalies can skew payments, so new Regulations have been made which mean that with effect from 16th November and in relation to calendar month, paid employers who receive more than one more payment in a single assessment period the DWP can, in order to maintain a regular payment pattern, treat one of those payments as employed earnings in a different assessment period.

The DWP will however need to be alerted.
So if you think you will be affected by this, it is suggested that you copy and upload the following to your UC journal –

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This entry is in reference to the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amended Regulations 2020, that amend the income assessment rules in regulation 61 of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013, following the decision of the Court of Appeal in ‘Johnson and Others’ which came into effect on 16th of November 2020.

This Amendment allows for the Secretary of State to :-
(6) Where a person is engaged in an employment where they are paid on a regular monthly basis and more than one payment in relation to that employment is reported in the same assessment period, the Secretary of State may, for the purposes of maintaining a regular pattern, determine that one of those payments is to be treated as employed earnings in respect of a different assessment period.

I understand that with this change to the regulations, decision makers have flexibility to reallocate a payment reported in one assessment period to another assessment period, in respect of calendar monthly paid employees who receive more than one payment in a single assessment period (paragraph 7 of ADM 27/20 refers).

As in some months I fall into that category, I am formally requesting that in order to maintain a regular payment pattern, that the necessary adjustments be made to my Universal Credit payments in line with the above mentioned amendments.


UC may respond asking you to raise a Real Time Information dispute. If they do ask you to do that then please comply.