If you are receiving the State Pension, your payment dates will probably be affected by the Christmas bank holidays. The Pension Credit payment dates are also likely to be amended due to this. Please bear in mind that if your payment is due on a day that is not a bank holiday, then you will still receive the money on this date and should not receive the payment early. The affected Christmas 2019 pension payment dates are as follows.
Early Pension Payment Dates 2019
Wednesday 25th December (Christmas Day)
Tuesday 24th December (Christmas Eve)
Thursday 26th December (Boxing Day)
Tuesday 24th December (Christmas Eve)
Wednesday 1st January (New Year’s Day)
Tuesday 31st December (New Year’s Eve)
If your payment date falls on a bank holiday then you should be paid on the working day before this date instead. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not bank holidays and both fall on working days directly before bank holidays this year. This means that even if you do receive an early payment, it will only be 1 day early. It should not disrupt your regular outgoings. Contact the DWP if you do not receive your pension payment.
Pension Winter Fuel Payment
If you are claiming the State Pension and you were born on or before 5th April 1954, then you are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment. This is a bonus payment from the government to help vulnerable elderly people to pay for heating their homes during the winter. Eligible people should automatically receive a payment of £100 – £300 (depending on their age and circumstances). The payment should arrive in your account from November – December 2019, or by 13th January 2020 at the very latest.
As the new Brexit deadline of 31st October approaches, it seems likely that the UK will end up leaving the EU without a deal. No Deal Brexit disastrous predictions have been circulating for years already, but the lack of progress from the UK government is causing a lot of stress for Brits and EU citizens alike. The pressure is mounting and people don’t know what is happening or what they are supposed to do about Brexit.
If you are already making plans for your retirement, the recent stories in the news may be worrying. However, you need to know that the idea of increasing the State Pension age to 75 was only a proposal. The UK government is not actually taking this action. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the current plan for State Pensions.
The current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is taking a “do or die” stance on Brexit. It seems that he intends for the UK to leave the EU on the new deadline of 31st October whether there is a deal in place or not. Despite all of the arguments against a No Deal Brexit, and the opposition Theresa May faced when trying to negotiate a deal, Boris looks set to bluster his way through Brexit regardless of the outcome. Like Theresa May before him, Boris will have to face challenges from Parliament and the EU first.
The UK government will be implementing the biggest change to the Blue Badge disabled parking scheme since its inception in 1970 from Friday 30th August 2019. People with less visible disabilities may now be able to access Blue Badges and benefit from accessible parking spaces in the UK.
Who can apply for a Blue Badge now?
This year, the criteria for Blue Badge eligibility will be changing. The UK government is extending access to Blue Badges for people with hidden disabilities and not just immediately visible mobility problems. This will include people with autism, anxiety, or dementia amongst other mental and psychological conditions. As well as individual adults, parents can apply for a Blue Badge if they have a child with one of the newly eligible conditions. Under these new rules, a person qualifies for a Blue Badge if:
They receive 8 or more points in the “moving around” part of the PIP mobility component assessment
They get the PIP mobility component and also receive 10+ points in “planning and following journeys” due to “overwhelming psychological distress” during this activity
They take an assessment deciding whether they can make a journey without the risk of serious harm, considerable psychological distress, or difficulty walking (not just physically)
What are people saying about the new Blue Badge rules?
Many people are happy about these changes because it will make life easier for lots more people. The Minister of State for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, described this change as “a watershed moment” for people with hidden disabilities because it makes it easier for them to be independent. Jane Harris, the director of external affairs at the National Autistic Society, also said that it will be “life-changing” for people with autism especially. Many charities and organizations are praising this development, but are also wary about how well it will work. Ceri Smith from Scope, the charity for disability equality, said that there is more to be done to ensure that there are enough Blue Badge parking spaces for everyone who needs them. Kat Humble of Autistic UK agreed, stating that there is a lot of room left for improvement in this area regarding discrimination and fraud as well. Accordingly, the UK government is providing £1.7 million to councils to help them to cope with the demand for Blue Badge services. There will also be a new task force for cracking down on Blue Badge fraud, which can improve the availability of spaces.
How do you apply for a Blue Badge?
The new rules will apply to Blue Badge applicants from 30th August this year. You can easily apply for a Blue Badge online or renew a Blue Badge online here. However, you must be able to provide scanned images of the required documents and the requested details like your National Insurance Number. You can find out more about other ways to apply for a Blue Badge here. A Blue Badge can cost up to £10-£20 around the UK.