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Benefits, pensions, Universal Credit and more to arrive early for Christmas

Thousands of parents in receipt of child benefits, tax credits and more financial help are being warned to be aware their payment dates will vary over Christmas and New Year to reflect the two bank holidays.

HMRC – which manages the payments – has published a list of the key dates for your diary over the festive spell.

And it’s not all bad news, as most families will see their transactions clear earlier than usual – on the eve of Christmas and New Year.

Child Benefits were first introduced in the 1970s to support working parents with their living costs. Today, it pays around £20.70 a week for the first child and £13.70 per week for subsequent children.

However, if you or your partner have an income of more than £50,000 a year, you will be liable for the High Income Child Benefit charge. This means you’ll have to pay 1% of every £100 you earn back to the Government at the end of the tax year. You can read about how this works, here.

Tax-credits meanwhile are entirely separate. This is a benefit paid out to those who need it most, such as families who need help to care for children, those who are disabled workers, and people on low incomes.

There are two types of tax credit – child tax credit and working tax credit. You might be eligible for one or both of them, depending on your circumstances.

We’ve outlined when you can expect your benefits to come through over the holiday spell below.

Those in receipt of Attendance Allowance, the state pension, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit and Personal Independence Payment may also receive early Christmas payments. You can find out the dates for this below.

Payment dates over Christmas and New Year 2018

Families who receive child benefits, tax credits and Universal Credit will see their money paid out on different dates over the Christmas break.

Tax Credit payments over Christmas

If you usually receive payments on the following dates, this is when it’ll come through instead:

  • 25 December 2018 – 24 December 2018

  • 26 December 2018 – 24 December 2018

  • 27 December 2018 – 24 December 2018

  • 28 December 2018 – 27 December 2018 – England, Scotland and Wales only

  • 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2018

  • 2 January 2019 – 31 December 2018

  • 3 January 2019 – 2 January 2019 – England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

Child benefit payments over Christmas

If you usually receive payments on the following dates, here’s when your money will arrive:

  • 25 December 2018 – 24 December 2018

  • 1 January 2019 – 24 December 2018

If your payment is late, HMRC advises people to check the payment date on their award notice and contact their bank before calling the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

If in doubt, the tax-man should be your first port of call, as this is the body that manages tax credits and child benefits.

What about Universal Credit payments?

Universal Credit payments due on 2 January 2019 will be paid on that day. Any earlier Bank Holiday payments will arrive on 31 December 2018.

What about the state pension, ESA, income support, Carer’s Allowance and other benefits over Christmas?

Attendance Allowance, the state pension, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit and Personal Independence Payments will vary too. We’ve run through when your payment is usually due versus when you’ll be paid instead, below.

  • Monday 24 December 2018 Friday 21 December 2018 Monday 24 December 2018

  • Tuesday 25 December 2018 Friday 21 December 2018 Monday 24 December 2018

  • Wednesday 26 December 2018 Friday 21 December 2018 Monday 24 December 2018

  • Thursday 27 December 2018 Thursday 27 December 2018 Thursday 27 December 2018

  • Friday 28 December 2018 Friday 28 December 2018 Friday 28 December 2018

  • Saturday 29 December 2018 Friday 28 December 2018 Friday 28 December 2018

  • Sunday 30 December 2018 Friday 28 December 2018 Friday 28 December 2018

  • Monday 31 December 2018 Monday 31 December 2018 Monday 31 December 2018

  • Tuesday 1 January 2019 Monday 31 December 2018 Monday 31 December 2018

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Financial support for parents

  • Grandparents Credit
  • Tax-free Childcare
  • 30 Hours Free Childcare
  • Paternity Pay
  • Workplace rights for parents
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Shared Parental Leave

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