DWP benefit claimants warned they could lose payments over Universal Credit switch

People on legacy benefits are being moved to Universal Credit
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Thousands of benefit claimants are being warned they risk losing their payments as the switch to Universal Credit continues this month.

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued the warning to 120,000 households claiming Tax Credits with Housing Benefit, along with 110,000 people claiming Income Support. The DWP says the claimants will have to make the transfer to Universal Credit this month with the department rolling out managed migration, a process which is moving thousands of people over to Universal Credit.

After a “migration notice" lands on your doormat, you then have three months to move over to Universal Credit before your existing benefits are stopped. Those claiming Housing Benefit only should have received their “migration notice” in June, while anyone claiming Income-related Employment Support Allowance with Child Tax credits will be contacted this month, reports BirminghamLive.

The benefits being replaced are Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit as well as Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Housing Benefit. If the amount you are entitled to on your existing benefits is more than you'll get on Universal Credit, a top up is available.

This is called 'transitional protection'. You can only get this additional amount if you have received a Migration Notice and claim by the deadline date on your letter. If your circumstances change after you’ve made your claim, any transitional protection you receive may stop.

You can use a benefits calculator to see an estimation of how much you could get on Universal Credit. These are free to use and anonymous. But the DWP website warns: "Benefit calculators do not show transitional protection (top up payments) or any deductions for a debt, so may not be accurate."

It adds: "If you receive tax credits and have money, savings and investments over £16,000, use the entitled to or the Better Off calculator. See how much you could get by using a benefits calculator."