Is it time to move to Universal Credit?

Posted on 19 June 2023

If you live in Islington, Kent, Medway, East London or South London, you’ll receive your migration notice in the post by September.

You may have received it already. What do I do if I have my letter?    

If you’re claiming any of the benefits mentioned below then soon you'll have to take action, and switch over to Universal Credit (UC). These are income-based and/or income related benefits:

  • working tax credits
  • child tax credits
  • housing benefit
  • employment and support allowance
  • income support
  • jobseeker’s allowance.

In 2023 and 2024, customers who only receive working tax credits and/or child tax credits, will most likely have to move over to Universal Credit. Look out for your letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that will explain the process. If you’re in in any doubt about moving over to UC then please seek advice.

When will this happen to me?

You’ll receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) called a notice of managed migration. Once you have this letter, you’ll have three months to act.

The managed migration to UC has already begun and is initially only affecting a few areas, but there will be a gradual expansion across all local authorities. The DWP plans to complete the managed migration by the end of 2029, starting with people who only claim Tax Credits. The planned schedule is:

  • 2023/24 - Tax Credit only claimants
  • 2024/25 - All other Tax Credit claimants and those on Income Support, Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or just Housing Benefit
  • 2028/29 - All remaining employment and support allowance claimants.

Stop, think, and be in the know

There’ll be winners and losers in this transition, so be as informed as you can. Once you’ve received your letter through the post, we can help you work out:

  • the best time in that three-month window to move
  • how much you’re likely to receive in UC. We’ll also be able to provide tips to ensure your application is assessed correctly from the start
  • if you’re entitled to any Transitional Protections. These are measures the government has put in place to protect against loss of income caused by the switch over.

What do I do?

You must look out for your letter from the DWP. But you can get prepared. Check how much you will receive on UC, it might be less than you’re getting now, but it might be more.

You can make the switch to UC earlier than when you’re invited, but if you’re due to receive less after the switch over, it’s better to wait for the managed migration notice letter. Our Universal Credit helper tool can help you through the application process.

You’ll also want to consider any known existing debts that could be deducted from your UC award and ensure that you’re receiving all the benefits and extra help that you might need.

When you’ve received your letter, you can contact us on the usual channels and ask to talk about the switch to UC. The letter will also signpost to where you can find more information. And there’s a dedicated helpline if you prefer to call.

If you’re worried about your finances, we can offer expert advice and support on a range of subjects. We’re here to help.

This story is part of our Helping Hand initiative.