DWP to move 600,000 people from current benefit onto Universal Credit

600,000 people will be moved from their current, existing benefit to Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed. The DWP has confirmed a major shakeup for 600,000 benefit claimants moving to Universal Credit.

The new plans will see people claiming income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA) moved onto Universal Credit by April 2025. It comes a full three years earlier than previously planned, the DWP announced today (Tuesday April 23) in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The DWP is currently working to move Brits claiming "legacy benefits" onto the newer Universal Credit under the "Managed Migration" process. The DWP tweeted: "The Prime Minister’s welfare reform speech earlier today announced the acceleration of the Managed Migration of legacy ESA/ESA & HB cases to #UniversalCredit. All migration notices will now be sent by the end of December 2025.

READ MORE UK braced for first 'official' heatwave of year with temperatures in 'high 20s'

"We will work with stakeholders on the detailed plans." The benefits being scrapped by the DWP are the older "legacy" benefits which include Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit as well as Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Income support, Housing Benefit and Income related Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

The DWP says claimants impacted will receive a "migration notice" in the post. Once you receive one of these letters you have three months to put in a claim for Universal Credit. If you don't then your benefits could be stopped, the DWP has confirmed.

You can put in your claim online, or over the phone by calling the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline on 0800 169 0328, or you can also ask your local Job Centre. Once you have made your claim, you will have to wait five weeks until your first Universal Credit payment and you will continue to receive it going forward - unless your circumstances change, the DWP says.