Universal Credit Advice

There are 3 main ways you may need to make a claim for UC.


If you’re not on legacy benefits, then you should consider claiming UC if you are on a low income, to top up your wages, need help with rent and so on.


You are on legacy benefit(s) and have a change in circumstances that would mean a new claim for another legacy benefit. It is not 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’. But sometimes you don’t have to claim UC and you have a choice. 


In phases, from April 2023 to 2028/9, the Government are writing to those on legacy benefits saying they have to claim UC and their legacy benefits will stop after a while. This is called ‘managed migration’.   Before you get the invitation to claim under managed migration, those on legacy benefits should find out if youwould be better off or worse off on Universal Credit. 

Managed migration timetable. The big roll out

From April 2023 to 2024, those on Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit and not on any other 'legacy benefit' will be sent a letter ('Migration Notices') inviting them to claim UC. This group is being called 'Tax Credits only'. 

In 2024/25 the DWP plan to send Migration Notices to the remaining tax credit cases (which also receive DWP benefits) and Income Support, Housing Benefit and Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

By the end of 2024/25 DWP will have completed the moves of all legacy cases with Tax Credits (including those on both ESA and Tax Credits), all cases on Income Support (IS) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and all Housing Benefit (HB) only cases.

The 'moving of the remaining ESA cases and ESA/Housing Benefit cases will be delayed until 2028/29', as a consequence, the merger of Housing Benefit into Pension Credit is also delayed till 2028/9.  

The Move to UC Leaflet 

From September 2023, HMRC are also sending out leaflets to all Tax Credit claimants saying their "Tax Credits are ending" which is causing panic, with people thinking they have to claim Universal Credit earlier than they need to. Remember, you only need to claim Universal Credit in the 3 circumstances listed above.  These government webpages explain the overall situation:  Completing the move to Universal Credit and Tax credits and some benefits are ending

Do I have a choice in moving to UC?

If you get a Migration Notice' letter described above you should not ignore it.  You must claim Universal Credit within the deadline on the letter. Your other 'legacy benefits' will normally stop after 3 months.

If you are on legacy benefits and have a change in circumstances, and before you get a migration notice, you may have to claim UC but you may not. Please contact the Welfare Rights Service for support to make sure you claim UC at the correct time.