Good afternoon

I recently provided an update on the Managed Migration timetable and how and when it would be conducted. The game plan is to transfer around 1 million more “legacy” benefit recipients to Universal Credit by no later than March 2025.

It’s been recognised for some time, this latest phase in the migration process could be more difficult as the cases identified are not as straightforward as those in earlier stages. The most complex group of all, Employment Support Allowance, will be deferred until 2028.

Since my January post, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), has reported, in its members’ bulletin, that of the 118,000 claimants (mainly single Tax Credit recipients) invited to claim Universal Credit, using Migration Notices, between July 22 and August 2023, only 61,300 claimed by the deadline date and, of that number, 65% were awarded Transitional Protection (TP). The TP is figure is much higher than anticipated and may be due to DWP miscalculating the TP element, as we feared they would do.

It suggests – “The consequence of this is, claimants being managed migrated to UC and not receiving HB or Carers Allowance will have an indicative UC amount which underestimates – sometimes by a large amount – the eventual UC award they will receive. These people are therefore much more likely to get a transitional element or to get a higher transitional element – even if they would be better off on UC without a transitional element”.

If CPAG’s concerns are justified, and reflected across the country, this will ultimately result in large overpayments, caused by “official error” which, unlike the rules on Housing Benefit, would be “recoverable” from the affected claimants, even though they’re caused by “official error” rather than claimant “misrepresentation” or “failure to disclose” a change, the old rules.

What CPAG describes in really worrying and is something you may wish to highlight, both to frontline staff and customers, in your in-house news bulletins. It’s certainly likely to create more enquiries from concerned tenants, especially if they are overpaid, and required to repay by DWP’s Debt Management team, which operates a Merchant of Venice “pound of flesh” type approach by demanding payment, even though a Mandatory Reconsideration or appeal has been lodged. See, for example, bulletin

Where payment of “housing costs” is made direct to landlord, DWP has a habit of simply pursuing the landlord for recovery, when that should NOT be the case. See example

Our latest training course, covering the developments in Managed Migration, can be found here The course can also be arranged in-house, either face2face or via Zoom/Teams.

If you’re interested in our range of HB and UC courses  or would like to develop a bespoke version, for your staff, get in touch.

Meantime, I can be contacted on 07733 080 389 or or email

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd

Phone 07733 080 389 or 01698 424301.

Twitter or “X” @Billirvine17