DWP stops benefits for 184,000 people in huge Universal Credit change

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has halted the benefits of 184,000 people amid a massive shift from old-style welfare to Universal Credit, sparking concern among policy experts. As part of the switch known as managed migration, recipients of six older benefits are being transferred to Universal Credit.

Those who didn't switch before the deadline have now lost their benefits. The DWP sends out a migration notice to those on certain benefits when it's their turn to move over, giving them a three-month window to make the change.

Out of more than 800,000 migration notices issued, a staggering 184,000 individuals missed the deadline and have been cut off financially. Tax expert Andy Wood has voiced serious concerns about the consequences.

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"The DWP's ability to manage the migration of claimants from legacy benefits to Universal Credit is concerning, especially for those vulnerable. The loss of benefits for many individuals is unacceptable, and the DWP must provide comprehensive support to ensure a smooth transition," he said.

"The termination of benefits for 184,000 claimants highlights the critical need for a more empathetic and supportive approach in the Universal Credit rollout. Many of these individuals are likely facing significant challenges, and the DWP must prioritise their well-being over meeting migration targets. The primary goal should be ensuring that no one is left without essential support," reports Birmingham Live.

"According to a recent update from the DWP, 824,050 individuals in 540,070 households received migration notices between July 2022 and March 2024 across England, Wales, and Scotland. The vast majority (821,430) were tax credit claimants. The transition to Universal Credit is replacing six legacy benefits, including Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, and income-based Jobseeker's Allowance."

"Of the 824,050 individuals issued migration notices between July 2022 and March 2024, 400,940 (49 percent) have successfully transitioned to Universal Credit, with 60 percent of those households receiving transitional protection to maintain their payment levels. An additional 238,990 (29 percent) are still in the process of switching."

"Meanwhile, 184,120 individuals (22 percent) have not transitioned and have had their legacy benefit claims closed, according to the DWP."

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