Universal Credit deadline for thousands of people claiming benefits this month

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The DWP wants to move everyone on legacy benefits to Universal Credit (Image: Getty Images)
The DWP wants to move everyone on legacy benefits to Universal Credit (Image: Getty Images)

More households claiming older legacy benefits will be told to move to Universal Credit throughout August.

Universal Credit is replacing the old-style benefits including Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants the majority of people moved over by December 2024.

You should receive a "migration notice" in the post, giving you three months notice to start claiming Universal Credit. If you don’t claim within this time, your current benefits will stop.

You may be moved across earlier if your circumstances change, or you can choose to move over earlier if you think you’ll be better off claiming Universal Credit.

The process of transferring people over from the old benefit system started again in May 2022, having been paused due to Covid. Those who need to move are being contacted in stages.

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The DWP will make contact with people in the following areas next month:

  • West Scotland

  • Derbyshire

  • South London

  • Staffordshire

  • West Yorkshire

What benefits are being replaced by Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is replacing the following six benefits:

Those who claim income-related ESA and do not get Tax Credits have a slightly longer deadline and will be transferred across by 2028.

If you will eventually need to move over to Universal Credit, you should use one of the following free benefit calculators to get a rough idea about whether you will be better off.

  • Policy in Practice calculator

  • entitledto calculator

  • Turn2us calculator

If you think you will be better off, seek expert advice first before switching to Universal Credit - once you make the move, you can’t go back to your old benefits.

You can get free benefits advice from Citizens Advice or Turn2Us. The DWP claims 1.4million people (55%) will be better off on Universal Credit, and 900,000 (35%) would be worse off.

The other 300,000 benefit claimants will see no change.

According to MoneySavingExpert.com, those who are more likely to benefit from being on Universal Credit include:

  • Most people who work and rent

  • Some people who have 'higher earnings' but don't rent

  • Those who have childcare costs - particularly higher monthly costs

Those who are most likely to be worse off include:

  • Those who aren't in work

  • Those who work but don't pay rent

  • Self-employed workers earning less than the 'minimum income floor'

  • Those with savings over £16,000

  • Some with disabilities or caring responsibilities

If you are moved over to Universal Credit through managed migration, and you'll be worse off, you will get monthly transition payments to cover any financial shortfall.

The transitional protection lasts until there is no difference between the amount awarded under Universal Credit and what you received before under legacy benefits.

Once you make a Universal Credit claim, your old benefits will be stopped and you'll have to wait five weeks for your first Universal Credit payment to arrive.

Some legacy benefits - including Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-related ESA and income-based JSA - will "run on" for two weeks to help bridge that gap. Tax credits payments will stop as soon as you claim Universal Credit.

You may also be able to claim other benefits alongside Universal Credit. For example, you could be eligible for New Style ESA if you're ill or have a disability that affects your ability to work.

Levi Winchester

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