How and When are Benefits Paid?

This blog post explains how and when your benefits are paid. The comparison table also shows the payment frequency for social security benefits and allowances.

The UK Government does not pay out benefits, pensions, or child maintenance payments in cash. In almost all cases, your benefits will be paid straight into a secure account (such as a bank, a building society, or a credit union account).

Some of the payment dates will fall on a weekend or a bank holiday (e.g. Easter, Christmas, New Year). When this happens, the benefits office will most likely send the money on the previous working day. But, this payment process can vary for tax credits and for Child Benefit.

Frequency of Benefits Payments

Type of Benefit or AllowanceUsual Benefit Payment Frequencies
Attendance AllowanceEvery four (4) weeks
Carers AllowanceEvery four (4) weeks (sometimes weekly in advance)
Child Benefit 2019Every four (4) weeks (can be weekly for single parents or people claiming certain benefits)
Disability Living AllowanceEvery four (4) weeks
Employment and Support Allowance 2019Every two (2) weeks
Income Support 2019Every two (2) weeks
Jobseeker’s AllowanceEvery two (2) weeks
Pension CreditEvery four (4) weeks
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)Every four (4) weeks
State PensionEvery four (4) weeks
Tax credits (e.g. Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit)Every four (4) weeks (can also be weekly)
Universal CreditEvery month
The table shows which social security benefits and allowances are paid out weekly, fortnightly, and monthly!
Note: There is a version of this article available in Welsh (Cymraeg) on the GOV.UK website.

How are Benefits Paid?

You will need to provide your account details any time you make a claim so you can set up regular benefit payments.

However, you can get paid using an alternative method (e.g. Post Office account) if you have difficulties opening or managing a normal bank or building society account.

So, what should you do if you are unable to open or manage a bank account, building society, or a credit union account?

If this is the case, you should contact the benefits office that makes your payment. They will give you further information on how to get paid.

Anyone who receives Universal Credit should contact the Universal Credit helpline.

Universal Credit Helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
NGT text relay – if you cannot hear or speak on the phone: 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Check the rates for call charges

Child Benefit

The benefits office will usually pay Child Benefits payments into any account. But, they will not pay into a Nationwide cashbuilder account (sort code 070030) if the account is in someone else’s name.

Guardian’s Allowance and Tax Credits

In general, you can receive money paid through the Guardian’s Allowance and tax credits into any account. But, they will not pay into a Nationwide Building Society account if it is in someone else’s name.

If You Choose to Pay Back Benefits

Some claimants will choose to repay benefits and allowances that they are entitled to, and get, if they feel they do not need them.

You can pay back benefits by writing to the same department that paid them. You will find their address written on any letters that they sent to you.

Make a cheque payable to the department, along with:

  • Your National Insurance number.
  • Details about the payment (e.g. the amount and the date).
Note: You cannot repay Child Benefit or tax credits unless you received an overpayment.

Information adapted from GOV.UK website according to Open Government Licence v3.0.

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