Thousands of legacy benefit claimants have been warned they will see a change to their benefits over the coming months with the move to Universal Credit.
The DWP will continue the project to move people over with the remaining groups on legacy benefits to be transferred to Universal Credit, apart from those on Employment and Support Allowance only and Employment and Support Allowance with Housing Benefit.
An update to Parliament from employment minister Jo Churchill said: “Our plans for 2024/25 are to undertake the issuing of migration notices to in scope working age benefit households sequentially, starting with Income Support claimants and those claiming tax credits with Housing Benefit from April, Housing Benefit only claimants from June, Employment Support Allowance with Child Tax Credits from July and Jobseekers Allowance in September.
“Households may be in receipt of a combination of benefits, for example an Income Support recipient could also be claiming Housing Benefit and/or Child Tax Credits.
“From August, we will also contact those claiming tax credits who are over state pension age, with households being asked to apply for either Universal Credit or Pension Credit, depending on their circumstances.”
The DWP focused on notifying households on tax credits only during 2023 and so far in 2024. Ms Churchill said: “This activity is progressing well, and we remain on track to notify over 500,000 tax credit only households of the need to claim Universal Credit by the end of March 2024.
“Furthermore, by February 2024 a month earlier than originally anticipated, ‘Move to Universal Credit’ will be underway across all Jobcentre districts within Great Britain.”
A migration notice letter will inform a person they need to move to Universal Credit and invite them to apply for the benefit.
In most cases, individuals will be better off following a move from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.
If a person sees their payments drop as a result, they will get a top-up payment known as transitional protection to make up the difference.
A person on legacy benefits will be automatically moved to Universal Credit if they change their details, such as changing address or starting a new job.
Benefit payments are increasing 6.7 percent in April. This will increase the standard allowances for Universal Credit to:
- Single under 25: £311.68 (up from £292.11 per month)
- Single 25 or over: £393.45 (up from £368.74 per month)
- Joint claimants both under 25: £489.23 (up from £458.51 per month)
- Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £617.60 (up from £578.82 per month)
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