DWP to move benefit claimants onto Universal Credit and 'cover any financial shortfall'

Thousands of people claiming benefits are in the process of being moved over to Universal Credit. Universal Credit is replacing six older legacy benefits, including Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.

Most people are set to be moved over by the end of March next year by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). People who receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and do not get Tax Credits will be moved to Universal Credit by 2028.

But not everyone will be better off on Universal Credit. According to the DWP, 55 per cent of claimants will get more money on Universal Credit.

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But 35 per cent will be worse off, while the rest will see no change. If you are going to be worse off, the DWP will award you transitional payments to cover any financial shortfall, Mirror reports.

This transitional protection lasts until there is no difference between the amount awarded under Universal Credit and what you received before under legacy benefits. But you will only get these top-ups if you are moved over as part of the so-called 'managed migration' process.

You will received a letter telling you that you are being transferred to Universal Credit. If you move to Universal Credit early, you will not be entitled to transitional payments.

The transitional payments will be applied automatically to your benefit claim but they can be stopped early if you have a change of circumstances - for example, if a partner moves into your home. It is important to get advice from Citizens Advice or another registered organisation before switching to Universal Credit.

You will not be able to go back to your old benefits once you make the move to Universal Credit. You can use one of the following free benefit calculators to get a rough idea as to whether you will be better off:

But it is important that you do not rely solely on these calculators - seek free benefits advice before you make the switch. Everyone being moved over is being contacted in stages - when it is your turn to be transferred to Universal Credit, you will be sent your 'migration notice' in the post.

Once you have received this letter, you will have three months to move over to Universal Credit. Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

  • Working Tax Credit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Income Support

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Housing Benefit