Good afternoon

DWP, on 23rd January 2020, issued its latest set of statistics on the extent of Universal Credit’s rollout. In confirms overall number of claims, as at August 2019, amounted to just over 2 million, and helpfully breaks down figures to constituency levels. It also highlights, there still remains 68% of claimants (4.5 million, GB wide) to transfer between now and December 2023.

I recommend you examining the analysis. If you do so, you’ll realise there are quite significant variations, from one area to another, mainly due to how early in the process Full Service was introduced in your locality. It’s highly likely, in your area, by far the majority, of sick, disabled, working claimants (tenants) have yet to transfer, posing a high risk to income management.

For example, if you look at Croydon (Central) or Inverness, two of the first areas to migrate to Full Service you find:

Croydon (Central)

52% of households had transferred; 49% of households with children had transferred; and, 33% of households where disability was evident, had transferred.

Comparable figures for London overall are:

Only 30% households transferred; 24% of households with children; and, 13% with disability.

Inverness, Nairn etc.

55% of households transferred; 44% with children; 30% with disability.

Comparable figures, Scotland overall are:

37% of households; 26% with children; 13% with disability

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 constiuency level, which might prove helpful when planning ahead.

The “Managed Migration” (MM) pilot, which was planned to start in July 2019 in Harrogate, has yet to get off the ground. In contrast, around 130,000 new “Natural Migration” awards are being made on a monthly basis. None of these cases is covered by Transitional Protection, so if they lose out in the process of migrating, as many are already experiencing, they will not be compensated, in any way, putting even more stress on household budgets.

Furthermore, if this rate of migration continues, very few of the 4.5 million claimants, due to migrate by December 2023 will be eligible for any compensation, through TP, for the shortfall they experience.

DWP previously estimated 2 million would transfer under the “Managed Migration” route, with 40% eligible for Transitional Protection. Those currently reliant on ESA, Tax Credits and working part-time, that “naturally” migrate, even though there’s no imperative to do so, are likely to experience big losses and could struggle to meet their liabilities, including rent.

DWP’s hierarchy remains 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. Given its track record, to date, is likely to fail, yet again, to deliver its commitments. More likely scenario is, Councils, Housing Associations and PRS landlords will be forced to assist, much higher numbers of their tenants, with complex circumstances, and pick up the financial costs of doing so.

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