May bank holiday benefits pay: When are ESA and Universal Credit paid? | Personal Finance | Finance


The Spring Bank Holiday is a public holiday which is always celebrated on the last Monday of May and takes place throughout the whole of the UK. The Spring Bank Holiday officially became a holiday in 1967 when it replaced the Whitsun Monday.

It is also a public holiday for residents of Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Jersey.

In 2002, the Bank Holiday was moved to the first weekend of June to make room for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and again in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee.

While the time off work and school is welcome news to most, others may be worried about the financial implications considering banks will be closed for the duration.

This means you’re more than likely to receive your benefit payments on a different date, but when will that be?

Universal Credit

Universal Credit payments are made directly into your bank account once a month in England, or for some people living in Scotland, twice monthly.

Receiving your first payments usually takes around five weeks after you sign up, and following the first payment date, you can be expected to be paid at the same time every month after that.

The Department for Work and Pensions said: “If a payment date is on a bank holiday or weekend, customers will be paid on the last working day before the bank holiday or weekend.”

If you’re expecting your payment on the Monday, you will receive your money Friday 24 May.

Depending on which bank you are with, the funds should clear into your account at midnight, or in the early hours following.

Bank of Scotland and Lloyds makes the funds available between midnight and 1am.

Barclays the Co-operative bank between 1 and 2am, Natwest, RBS and Halifax between 2am to 4am.

HSBC and Santander pay the latest, with money expected to clear anytime between 6 and 9am.


Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) benefits are usually paid every two weeks, with the money being paid directly into your bank on the same day every fortnight.

Just like Universal Credit, the Spring Bank Holiday is more than likely to affect which date you’ll be paid, as financial institutions are closed for the public holiday.

In order to avoid any financial difficulty, benefit payments will be made a few days early.

Payments will be made on the last working day before the bank holiday, meaning if you are due to be paid on the Monday, your money should be in your bank within the early hours of Friday morning.


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