Good morning

DWP has just issued its latest statistics on Universal Credit, covering, amongst other things, the numbers of claims and awards made so far, broken down, and including an analysis at regional and district level. The figures cover the period up to 11th July 2019 and can be found  here

I’ve extracted some of the key facts, but would recommend you examining the analysis which includes an interactive map, that enables you to hover over your area to reveal local stats. You’ll also find, if you do so, there are some quite significant variations, from one area to another, mainly due to how early in the process Full Service was introduced in your locality.

Some of the key facts include:

  1. To date there are 2.3 million recipients of Universal Credit, Great Britain wide. Of that number 33% are in employment, with 41% searching for work and subject to conditionality and potentially sanctions.
  2. In terms of gender, 55% of recipients are female.
  3. 240,000 claims were made in the month up to 11th July 2019 and of that number 180,000 resulted in awards.
  4. DWP anticipate numbers of awards will increase at the rate of 130,000 each month.
  5. 62% of awards relates to claimants in the age band 25-49
  6. 1.1 million households receive assistance with their “housing costs” and of that number 54% are Social Housing tenants.

If you examine the interactive map and, in particular, the tabs near the top, by clicking the one for your region, you’ll discover additional analysis, at district level, which might prove helpful when planning ahead.

The “Managed Migration” (MM) pilot started in July in Harrogate and represents, the commencement of the third and last stage of Universal Credit’s rollout, including, for the first time, the ability of claimants to access Transitional Protection, to offset potential losses they might otherwise have incurred. DWP is expected to add another two districts, at least, over the next 12 months, and by this time next year, should have a maximum of 10,000 MM cases. However, it’s important to remember, that, in the background, another 130,000 cases will be added, each month, without any such protection. Based on what’s happened so far, many tenants will transition, having been encouraged by DWP staff, even though there was no imperative to do so. Those reliant currently on ESA are most likely to experience problems, causing them to lose out in the process.

Many of our website clients, Social & Private, have already noticed a significant rise in UC referrals, over the past year, but there’s still, at least, another 75% of the anticipated final caseload to transition. This will happen between next summer and December 2023.

DWP ‘s hierarchy is confident it can deliver the challenges it faces. Others, including the Social Security Advisory Committee and Work & Pensions Committee, remain unconvinced and concerned by the problems this could create, especially for tenants, if DWP fails, yet again, to deliver on its commitments. On the other hand, Councils, Housing Associations and Private Landlords, have, so far, provided critical support to tenants as they transitioned and will continue to do so, for at least, another 4 years, at their own expense.

If you require any further information on this or any other welfare reform topic please get in touch – 07733 080 389 or

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd