BIG changes to benefits have already begun as more than a million Brits will be shifted onto Universal Credit by 2024.
However, the migration, calledManaged Migration, was paused during the pandemic.
When the move restarted in May, around 2.6million people were still on classicbenefits and the government plans to move all claimants onto Universal Credit by the end of 2024.
Weve asked the DWP if it still plans for the migration to be completed by the end of the year and will updated the piece once we know more.
We explain what is happening and how itll affect you below.
Which benefits are being scrapped?
Universal Credit is replacing six benefits under the old welfare system, commonly called legacy benefits. They are:
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit.
Which areas have been affected so far?
Households in the following areas have already started to be moved across to Universal Credit:
Weve also asked which areas the DWP plans to migrate next and will update the piece as soon as we know more.
You have THREE months from the date on your letter to apply for Universal Credit
If youre in one of the areas above, then you should have already received a letter from the government asking you to apply for Universal Credit.
This letter will inform you that your existing benefits or tax credits will be ending, and the date you must claim Universal Credit by.
You will have 3 months to claim Universal Credit from the date of your migration notice letter.
If you cannot claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given on your letter, you should contact theUniversal Credit Migration Notice helplineon 0800 169 032 as soon as possible.
Will I get the same amount as before?
On Universal Credit, most people will be entitled to the same amount they received from their previous benefits, or more.
But if the amount you are entitled to on your existing benefits is more than you will get on Universal Credit, a top up should be available.
But remember you can only get this top up if you have received a migration notice letter fromDWPand claim by the deadline date on your letter.
If your circumstances change before you make your claim, this may affect the amount you get so make sure you claim as soon as possible ensure the amount you are currently entitled to can be protected.
Other Universal Credit changes coming into force
The legacy benefits transfer isnt the only Universal Credit change coming into play.
From next year, anyone who is on Universal Credit and working 12 hours or more does not need to attend regular appointments at the Job Centre.
This is currently set at nine hours.
Earlier this year the government also announced that it would make access to cash easier for those living with a terminal illness.
The new 12-month rulehas already been introduced for two benefits from April 4 this year: Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Another changing for Universal Credit claimants is that they will need tohave more meetings with work coaches and either increase their working hours or spend more time looking fora job.
Thousands of people onUniversal Creditwill be moved from the light touch work group to the intensive work search regime.
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