The mass transfer to Universal Credit was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it started up again in May of this year. The DWP have given themselves until the end of 2024 to have the entire transfer completed.
The six payments set to change to Universal Credit include Child and Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Housing Benefit.
Most people can no longer make a new claim for these benefits, so must apply for Universal Credit.
Meanwhile, households in certain areas of the UK have already started to be moved across to Universal Credit.
When people are going to be moved over, they will receive a “migration notice” in the post, which will give them a three-month deadline to claim Universal Credit.
If someone does not make a claim in this timeframe, the current legacy benefits they receive will automatically stop.
Once someone makes a Universal Credit claim, their old benefits will be stopped and they will have to wait five weeks for their first Universal Credit payment to arrive.
Some legacy benefits will “run on” for a few weeks to help bridge the gap between the changes, but tax Credits payments will stop as soon as a person claims Universal Credit.
People claiming certain legacy benefits do not need to wait until they are notified to be moved onto Universal Credit.
Anyone who thinks they will be better off can make the move right away.
However, claimants are being urged to check their entitlement for Universal Credit using an independent benefits calculator.
This is because some claimants may not be better off on Universal Credit.
The DWP claims 1.4million people will be better off on Universal Credit and 300,000 will see no change. However, 900,000 could be worse off.
If this is the case, the DWP will provide top-up payments to ensure people receive the same entitlement as on a legacy system.
From April next year, Universal Credit claimants are to receive a 10.1 percent increase to the payments they are receiving now.
The DWP confirmed the new weekly payment rates on Wednesday, November 23 and published a full online guide to the increases for State Pensions, benefits and the increased benefit cap on GOV.UK.
For Universal Credit, the standard allowance for those single and under 25 years will be paid at £292,11 a month, up from £365.31.
Those who are single and over 25 years, they will receive a payment of £368.74 from next April, up from £334.91 now.
For joint claimants who are both under 25, they will receive a monthly payment of £458.51 up from the current £416.45.
For joint claimants where one or both are over 25 years, they will receive £578.82 from next April up from the £525.72 now.