The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed when Universal Credit claimants will receive payments ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday.

Claimants of Universal Credit can expect to be paid earlier than usual in April due to the long weekend.

Universal Credit is paid monthly to help low-income families, or unemployed households, with living expenses.

Payment dates will depend on when claimants first applied for Universal Credit and then the application was approved.

The first payment is usually given seven days after the end of a claimant’s assessment period, and is then paid on that date each following month.

However, when a payment lands on a weekend or holiday, the money is usually paid out one working day earlier.

When will Universal Credit be paid over Easter?

As benefits payments are not made on bank holidays, Universal Credit claimants should receive their monthly allowance a bit sooner in April.

Easter bank holiday falls in mid-April this year, with Good Friday on 15 April and Easter Monday on 18 April.

This means that anyone who is due to receive their Universal Credit payment between 15 and 18 April should expect to be paid on the Thursday before.

Payments should be given slightly earlier than usual on 14 April.

This payment will be adjusted automatically, so recipients do not need to do anything.

Those who are due to receive the benefit outside of these dates should not expect any changes, and will be paid at the same time as normal.

Easter bank holiday falls slightly earlier in Northern Ireland, so Universal Credit payments dates will differ too. Good Friday is on 2 April and Easter Monday on 5 April.

This means payments should be made on Thursday 1 April.

Will I be paid the same amount?

Even though the payment will be given slightly earlier, the amount that is paid will remain the same.

The only time the amount will be different is if your circumstances change, such as changes to living arrangements, bank details, immigration status, or finding a job.

As Universal Credit is calculated based on your specific circumstances, claimants must inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if anything changes that could affect your payments.

A change in circumstance could mean you are claiming benefits you are no longer entitled to.

This is illegal and if the DWP suspects benefit fraud, claimants could be visited by a Fraud Investigation officer and payments may be stopped.

What happens if my payment is delayed?

Claimants who do not receive their payment on time should contact the Universal Credit helpline.

This can be done online via your account, or by calling 0800 328 5644.

Will any other dates affect my payments?

The next bank holiday after April falls on 2 May, which is a Monday.

As such, claimants who normally get paid on this day of the month should expect to receive their payment earlier on Friday 29 April.

Other benefit payments are also likely to be paid on a different date due to bank holidays as well.

This could affect those who receive Employment support allowance, Jobseeker's allowance, Carer's allowance, Pension credit, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance allowance.