The move to Universal Credit
The move to Universal Credit
The aim of this page is to explain:
Universal Credit is replacing six means tested benefits Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits. They are called ‘legacy benefits’. UC is not replacing any other benefits, like pension age Housing Benefit, Housing Benefit in special accommodation, Council Tax Support and all other benefits. More information on the difference between UC and legacy benefits
There are 4 main ways you may have to make a claim for UC:
You are on legacy benefit(s) and have a change in circumstances that would mean a new claim for another legacy benefit. However, it is not now normally possible to claim a legacy benefit. Instead, you will be told to claim UC and all your legacy benefits will be stopped. This is called ‘natural migration’.
- Sometimes, though, you don’t have to claim UC and you have a choice. See below Do I have a choice in moving to UC?
Those on legacy benefit(s) may be better off on UC. See below Would I be better off on UC?
Between 2022 and 2024, the Government will write to those still on legacy benefits saying they have to claim UC and their legacy benefits will stop after a while. This is called ‘managed migration’. See 'news and guidance' below
If you’re not on either legacy benefits or UC, then you should claim UC if you are on a low income, to top up your wages, need help with rent and so on
News and guidance
On 25 April 2022, the Government announced the 'managed migration' process will start on a small scale from May 2022 in Bolton and Medway, building up over the months.
New Government webpage: Tax credits and some benefits are ending: claim Universal Credit - GOV.UK – 9 May 2022 includes:
- What to do if you receive a 'Migration Notice
- How to claim Universal Credit
- When you need to act
- Help for those in financial difficulties
- A Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline including Telephone: 0800 169 0328, Relay UK etc
A Government policy paper: Completing the move to Universal Credit - GOV.UK – 25 April 2022 - gives more explanation
You might have a choice - as follows:
Even if you have a change in circumstances, you may not have to claim UC. For example, if you are on Housing Benefit and move house in the same Local Authority, your Housing Benefit continues and you do not have to claim UC but if you move to another Local Authority, that is a new claim, so you have to claim UC and your legacy benefit(s) will end
This Information below may help you decide if you would be better off on UC:
Self-help calculators help you compare your legacy benefits with Universal Credit
To help you understand what changes you may need to make, the government have also produced an online Universal Credit personal planner, 'getting ready for Universal Credit'.
More detailed guides include Tax credits - moving on to universal credit factsheet and UC law and guidance from Revenuebenefits and Rightsnet
If I can’t figure it out myself, who can help me - nationally and in Newcastle?
Money Helper: ‘If you’re on Universal Credit or think you might be using it in the future, our Money Manager tool can help guide you’
In Newcastle YHN provide support to their tenants and there are number of independent benefit advice services listed in the booklet Where to Get Benefit and Debt Advice in Newcastle found on the webpage: Benefit advice services in Newcastle and benefit offices
1. Get help from the DWP who say: ‘If you cannot use digital services at all, Universal Credit applications can still be made over the phone.
- Telephone: 0800 328 5644
- Textphone: 0800 328 1344
- Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm’
2. Get Help to Claim from Citizens Advice - the help is via the telephone, BSL or online, not face to face
3. Get help in Newcastle. Details are in the document 'Universal Credit - information on support arrangements in Newcastle', which is on our more detailed guide to Universal Credit under ‘extra help with Universal Credit – including in Newcastle
4. If you have a professional working with you, they may also be able to help
5. Support organisations are listed in InformationNOW