Universal Credit (UC) is worked out each month on the basis of the income you received in the previous month. Therefore if you receive a one-off bonus payment from your employer, it will affect your next month’s Universal Credit. Large one-off bonus payments may also affect subsequent UC awards as they are treated as surplus earnings. The rules regarding surplus earnings are complicated and only apply where your award is reduced to zero in one month and the amount of bonus payment exceeds £2,500 however the Government has expressed an intention to reduce this to £300 going forwards although it is not currently clear when this change will take effect.
In most cases your UC will be reduced by 65% of your net additional payment (ie by 65% of the additional amount you receive, after tax and National Insurance).
If you are employed you will not usually be expected to report the payment or changes in your earnings – the DWP gets this information from HM Revenue and Customs through its ‘real time information ‘ system.
If the bonus reduces your Universal Credit award to zero you can reclaim by logging into your previous online account. Your new claim should be process more quickly and you should be paid on the same dates as before.