Exact date millions will be paid benefits early this month

Last modified on Friday 16 February 2024

Universal Credit/money in cash

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that millions will receive benefits, including Universal Credit, early in February, here's when you'll be paid

Many households across the UK are set to receive their benefits early this month.

The change is due to February being a shorter month, with 29 days this year owing to the leap year, as opposed to the 30 or 31 days in other months.

These are the benefits that are affected and when you should be paid instead.

Will I receive my payments early this month?

The change affects anyone claiming a benefit which is paid monthly rather than weekly or every two or four weeks.

This means that if you usually receive your benefits on the 30th or 31st of each month, you will instead receive your payment on Thursday 29 February.

If your payment day falls on a weekend, you will usually receive it on the previous working day. So if you're due to be paid on the 2 or 3 March you will be paid on 1 March instead.

Who does this affect?

This change affects anyone who is claiming benefits that are paid monthly and receives thier payment on a set date each month.

The change will mostly affect people claiming Universal Credit, which is issued monthly.

Will Child Benefit be affected?

Those claiming benefits such as Child Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Maternity Allowance, Carer's Allowance and Tax Credits, which are usually paid every two or four weeks, likely won't have their payments affected by the shorter month.

Despite the leap day this month, you will receive your benefits on the usual day as there are no bank holidays affecting payments in February.

Will I be paid anymore because there are 29 days instead of 28 in February?

The DWP has said it will not be paying extra to cover the extra day this year.

For Universal Credit, that's because the standard allowance stays the same no matter how many days there are in a month.

Increase to benefits

However, benefits are set to increase by 6.7% in April this year.

Speaking in his Autumn Statement in November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: 'The government has decided to increase Universal Credit and other benefits from next April by 6.7% in line with September’s inflation figure, an average increase of £470 for 5.5m households next year.'

Benefits including Universal Credit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit will increase by the following amounts:

For Universal Credit, claimants will see the following uplifts:

  • Single individuals under 25 will experience a see a raise from £292.11 to £311.68, while those over 25 will see an increase from £368.74 to £393.45.
  • Joint claimants under 25 will now receive £489.23, up from £458.51.
  • For couples with one or both partners over 25, the allowance will rise from £578.82 to £617.60.

Child Benefit will increase too. Currently, parents get £24 per week for their first child and £15.90 per each additional child. From April this will increase to the following:

  • £25.60 per week for the first child 
  • £16.95 per week per additional child 

Some elements of Child Tax Credit will increase. The rates from April will be as follows:

  • Child Tax Credit family element stays at £545
  • Child Tax Credit child element £3,455 a year – up from £3,235 a year
  • Child Tax Credit disabled child element £4,170 a year – up from £3,905 a year (this is on top of the child element)
  • Child Tax Credit severely disabled child element £1,680 a year – up from £1,575 a year (this is on top of the child and disabled child element)

Tax Credits are a legacy benefit with many either swapped over, or due to be swapped over to Universal Credit.

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