It means your rent will be charged 53 times over the year, but your Universal Credit payments only cover 52 weeks.

This is because the amount of Universal Credit you receive is calculated by multiplying your weekly rent by 52 and dividing by 12. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not change the way it calculates Universal Credit payments on a 53-week year, so you will continue to receive your Universal Credit payments for the usual 52 weeks.

It means that your monthly payments will not cover the monthly rent in 2024.

It is important that you are aware of the extra week, and that you plan and budget so that you don’t fall into rent arrears.

Please do not assume that you can claim a Discretionary Housing Payment or a Household Support Fund payment to cover this shortfall.

To make sure you have enough money to cover your rent over 53 weeks this year, it’s a good idea to work out the shortfall so you know how much you will need to put away. We’ve provided an example below to help you work this out. Simply change the £100 weekly rent in the example to whatever your weekly rent is and then follow the calculation.

If your weekly rent is £100:

  • usual 52-week year: weekly rent £100 × 52 ÷ 12 = £433.34
  • this year 53-week year weekly rent £100 × 53 ÷ 12 = £441.67

The DWP will continue to pay you £433.34 a month in Universal Credit but your monthly rent this year is £441.67 – leaving a shortfall of £8.33 a month. You will need to pay this shortfall direct to your landlord to stop your rent account falling into arrears.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or have rent arrears, please don’t bury your head in the sand. Contact your landlord to discuss the options available to you or seek independent advice from Citizens Advice .

If you pay your rent by direct debit, please ensure you speak to your landlord first.

What if I claim housing benefit?

If you get housing benefit you don’t need to do anything as this will be covered.