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, or call us on 0300 003 5454, and we will be happy to discuss your concerns.