If you currently receive Tax Credits, you might soon be contacted by DWP to move on to Universal Credit (UC). If you are invited to claim UC you will receive a Universal Credit Migration Notice telling you what you need to do.
From April 2023 to March 2024, the government will write to anyone who still gets Tax Credits only. If you get Tax Credits and housing benefit or any other legacy benefit, you won’t be invited to claim yet.
If you receive a ‘migration notice’ from DWP, don’t ignore it. Your existing benefits will stop if you do not claim Universal Credit within 3 months of the letter being sent to you.
From April 2023 to 2028/9, the government will write to those still on the following legacy benefits to say that their benefit claims will stop and they must claim Universal Credit:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Do not claim before you’re invited to via a migration notice, you may end up being worse off.
What’s different with Universal Credit?
You need an e-mail address to claim. You will need to keep checking your account frequently to manage your claim.
Payments are made directly into a bank, building society, post office or credit union account. They are made monthly in arrears.
It's a single monthly payment that combines your income-related living expenses including rent. This means you will have to budget, make your money last longer and pay your rent. If you need help with Council Tax, you will need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support, this is done through your local council.
Your housing costs (the amount you get towards your rent), may not cover all the rent you have to pay, and you may need to make up the shortfall – especially if you are affected by the bedroom tax, have non-dependents living with you, or have ineligible service charges like water rates included in your rent.
For any other information on Universal Credit, visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk