Good morning

Our 23rd April bulletin explained, how DWP resumed its programme of forcibly moving “legacy benefit” recipients onto Universal Credit, and how it anticipated the migration process, of the remaining 2.6 million claimants, would complete by December 2024, except for those claiming solely, Income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

DWP expanded the exercise by inviting Tax Credits claimants, in several English areas, and indicated further expansion would embrace those in receipt of Employment Support Allowance. Between now and June other English areas will be affected (e.g., Avon, Somerset, Gloucester, East London, and Cheshire).

DWP has produced helpful rollout data which, if you enter your local constituency, you’ll access details of how many claimants in that area are now claiming and how many are still to make the move. On average, around 60-70% of claimants have already transtioned, mainly through natural migration.

DWP announced through its Touchbase publication, that the expansion will now accelerate, to the extent, that by September 2023, it expects all areas of Great Britain will experience managed migration activity.

As I’ve previously explained, each affected claimant will receive a Migration Notice, giving them 3 months to submit their claim for Universal Credit. Each will have their entitlement to Universal Credit compared to their existing legacy benefit award. Around 50% are expected to be better off financially, while others, may lose out. But where there’s potential financial loss, this should be covered by Transitional Protection (TP) as long as the claim for UC is made within the deadlines set, in the Migration Notice.

Once awarded, TP will remain in payment until the claimant’s entitlement is eroded or wiped out, by natural changes, e.g., increases in rent, earnings, unearned income, or people leaving/joining household or annual events, like benefits uprating.

If you haven’t already prepared for this last stage in the Migration process, nor alerted your tenants to what’s about to happen, it’s best to act now, as it looks like, DWP has already pushed the accelerator button, bringing this last phase to your area much sooner than expected.

We can assist by offering face2face or via Zoom, a two our training session, covering all aspects of the migration process, including transitional protection, two-week run-ons, and examples of how TP will be eroded over time or lost by a simple change in circumstances.

If you’re interested, email or phone me on 07733 080 389.

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd