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Benefits – Universal credit, managed migration, housing benefit and pension credit

Universal credit

Universal Credit is a monthly payment for working-age people who are on a low income or out of work. It has replaced some of the ‘legacy benefits’.

What does it mean to me?

The biggest change is that you will receive one single monthly payment, including your housing cost. This means it’s your responsibility to pay your rent.

It is paid monthly, in arrears, direct to a bank account and is managed online. As it’s paid in arrears you’ll have to wait 1 month and 7 days before your first payment. You can ask for an advance payment, but you will have to repay it through your regular Universal Credit payments – they’ll be lower until you pay it back.

After the first payment, you’ll be paid on the same date of every month. If your payment date is on a weekend, you’ll be paid on the working day before. You’ll be able to see your upcoming payments in your online journal.

If you are not well enough to work

You can request to be assessed if you are not fit to work. You can request this in your journal or to your work coach. You may need to attend an assessment.

To make a claim for Universal Credit or for further information, please click here

Managed Migration

Managed Migration is the final phase of moving legacy benefit claimants onto Universal Credit (UC). Legacy benefits include: 

  • Tax Credits
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Working Age Housing Benefit.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send a letter called ‘Migration Notice’ to those who currently receive the legacy benefits mentioned above. The letter notifies people that their legacy benefit entitlement is due to end and for them to continue to receive government financial support, they will need to claim UC. 

What should I do when I receive the letter?

If you are receiving one or more legacy benefits then you may receive this letter, it is important you do not ignore it. If you haven’t received a letter yet, please do not worry as these letters are to be issued to claimants over the next 2 years.

If you have not received a letter after 2 years, then you do not have to claim UC yet. It is always best to speak to a Benefits Advisor before you claim UC or if you are not sure if you are eligible to claim it. 

Important: It is important to wait until you receive the notice before claiming UC, as you might be entitled to extra money or protections as you are being migrated to UC. You won't receive this extra money or protections if you claim before you get the migration notice.  

The Managed Migration Process

Once you have received this letter, you have 3 months from the date of the letter to claim UC. This date will be given in the letter and will be called your deadline day. You must claim UC by this date if you wish to continue to receive the financial support you need.

Claimants can claim UC directly online or via the dedicated UC Migration Notice helpline for free on 0800 169 0328 or by visiting your local Jobcentre. Claimants who require more time to claim can also call DWP for free on 0800 169 0328.

For claimants requiring additional support to complete their application support is available including through Citizens Advice Help to Claim for those living in England or Wales and Citizens Advice Scotland Help to Claim Scotland for those living in Scotland, which delivers step-by-step support to complete a UC claim.

Find out more about Tax credits ending and when you will need to move to UC.

Housing Benefit

Universal Credit has replaced Housing Benefit. You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you have reached state pension age or are in supported, sheltered, or temporary accommodation.

If you are already on Housing Benefit and there is a change to your circumstances, you may be able to remain on Housing Benefit. Please contact our Money Advice Team for more information.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a payment that you can apply for that could top up your retirement income once you’ve reached your state pension age. Up to a million people who qualify for this aren’t claiming it so don't miss out! 

Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income and helps with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges. Visit the Pension Credit website to find out more or how to claim.

Get help and support from our teams

We can help with budgeting, maximising your income through benefit take up and can point you in the right direction for more specialist help. Please fill in your details and a member of our team will get back to you.

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