Skip to main content\

An explanation of the '53 week' year 2024-25

Your landlord, Community Housing, charges your rent fortnightly, but Universal Credit is assessed and paid monthly.

Because of this, Universal Credit only pays 364 days in a year, even though there are always 365 days in a year (and 366 every leap year).

So your Universal Credit it always going to be one day short each year (or two in a leap year).

Why is this?

The DWP work out your monthly rent by multiplying a week's rent by 52 and dividing by 12. This would be fine if there were exactly 52 weeks rent in a year but there aren't. There's always an extra day in the year - or 2 in a leap year. (For the mathematically minded, it's because 52 times 7 is only 364).

You won't normally notice this but every few years when the extra day falls on a Monday (As this is the day your rent week starts) it will show on your rent account as a full week's debt.

Unfortunately 2024-2025 is one of these years. It is a '53 week' year.

The DWP have said they won't pay any extra Universal Credit to cover this.

Will this affect me?

If you are clearing your rent account every week or month - reducing the balance to zero - then this won't be a problem.

But where you pay your rent every month by using the same system as the DWP (ie your weekly rent times 52 and divided by 12) then you'll be a day short every year (two in a leap year) and will have to make up that extra.

If you think you are going to be affected by this please contact the income team at income@communityhousing.co.uk, or call us on 0300 003 5454, and we will be happy to discuss your concerns.