What does the 53-week year mean for Universal Credit payments?

When calculating Universal Credit, the DWP work out monthly rent by multiplying a week’s rent by 52 and dividing by 12. This is the case even when there is an extra week in the year.

You won’t normally notice this except for every few years when the extra day falls on a Monday, which it does in 2024, it will show on the rent account as a full week’s debt. The DWP does not change the way it calculates Universal Credit payments on a 53-week year, which means that your monthly payments will not cover the monthly rent in 2024. So you will need to work out the shortfall and pay this. We’ve included an example below.

  • 53-week year rent calculation: weekly rent £100 × 53 ÷ 12 = £441.67
  • 53-week year Universal Credit calculation: weekly rent £100 × 52 ÷ 12 = £433.34

So, in this example the customer would have a shortfall of £8.33 per month to pay.