This information is for people who have received a Universal Credit Migration Notice letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Managed migration is the government's process of moving all legacy benefits onto Universal Credit (UC). The information on this page explains what you'll need to do and by when.

Benefits that are ending

The following benefits are ending and are being replaced by Universal Credit:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA IB)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA IR)
  • Housing Benefit (HB)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credits (WTC)

You won't be moved to Universal Credit automatically, so it is essential to act quickly and follow the instructions in the letter. Otherwise, your benefits will stop.

What you need to do

To continue receiving financial support, you must claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given in your letter, which is three months from the date the letter was sent out. 

If you apply for Universal Credit before the Migration Notice deadline, you will receive a two-week payment from your current benefit starting from the date of your Universal Credit claim, except for tax credits, which stop the day before you claim Universal Credit.

You will only get the extra two weeks' payment if you are still eligible for the benefit. It will not affect the amount of Universal Credit you will receive.

If you have your Housing Benefit paid directly to your landlord and would like your landlord to receive your Universal Credit Housing Element, you will need to request this from Universal Credit when you migrate over. This will not be done automatically.

Advance payments

If you struggle to budget for the transitional time between your Universal Credit claim and your first payment, you can ask Universal Credit for an advance payment. This amount will be taken off your ongoing Universal Credit payments.

If you need more time to claim

If you cannot claim within this time, speak to the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline on 0800 169 0328. If you have a good reason, they can provide more time. You must do this before the deadline date on your letter.

Migration timetable

The migration timetable is as follows:

April 2024 

Income Support claimants and those claiming either Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits with Housing Benefit.

June 2024 

Housing Benefit only except those Housing Benefit only claimants living in Supported or Temporary Accommodation.

July 2024

Income related Employment Support Allowance with Child Tax Credits - with or without Housing Benefit.

August 2024

Tax Credits claimants over state pension age will be asked to apply for Universal Credit or Pension Credit, depending on their circumstances.

September 2024

Income-based Jobseeker Allowance, with or without Housing Benefit.

Those on income-related Employment and Support Allowance ONLY and those on income-related Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit will receive migration notices later, currently expected between 2028 and 2029. 

Would I be better off or worse off on Universal Credit?

The following information may help you decide if you would be better or worse off on Universal Credit.  

Transitional Protection  

If your Universal Credit is lower than your 'legacy benefits', your income from benefits will reduce to the new amount. You are only protected from reduced benefits if you have the Severe Disability Premium paid with some of your legacy benefits and when 'managed migration' applies. This is called Transitional Protection.

Transitional protection does not apply to those who naturally or voluntarily migrate.

It means those eligible households with a lower calculated award in Universal Credit than their legacy benefits awards will see no difference in their entitlement when they are moved to Universal Credit, provided there is no change in their circumstances during the migration process. The transitional protection element will erode over time with increases in Universal Credit elements - excluding the childcare costs element - and will stop with certain changes of circumstances.

Examples of changes that may reduce your transitional protection are:

  • having a child
  • starting to care for a child or disabled person
  • increase in rent
  • changes to government benefit rates

Changes that will end your transitional protection are:

  • a partner moving into or leaving your household
  • earnings drop below the agreed amount for three months in a row
  • your Universal Credit claim ends

Self-employed

In addition, those migrating to Universal Credit on managed migration who are gainfully self-employed will be eligible for a 12-month start-up grace period before the Minimum Income Floor applies to help them grow their business.

Benefit calculators

Self-help calculators help you compare your legacy benefits with Universal Credit.

Important

It's more than just a financial comparison between the amounts you'd be entitled to. Some aspects of Universal Credit can cause problems for people. Here are some examples to take into account:

  • Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears.
  • You must wait at least five weeks for the first payment after a new claim.
  • You are expected to claim and manage Universal Credit online.
  • The help with rent is paid with your Universal Credit, and you have to pay the rent yourself to the landlord.
  • There are more work-related requirements in Universal Credit.
  • After a new claim for Universal Credit, old tax credit arrears may be deducted from your Universal Credit.
  • You can apply for an advance payment of Universal Credit, which you will need to repay within 24 months.

Further support and guidance

If I need help to make a claim for Universal Credit or manage my claim, who can help me? You can request assistance from:

Department for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit: How to claim - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Alternatively, you can contact the Universal Credit Helpline at 0800 328 5644.

Get help if you have accessibility needs. For those who need support with the following:

  • using the phone (advice on Relay UK, textphone, Video Relay Service for deaf people who use British Sign Language and alternatives to the phone, including home visits)
  • using a computer
  • reading letters or filling in forms
  • attending face-to-face meetings
  • managing your affairs 

Citizens Advice's Help to Claim Service

Contact the Citizens Advice about a Universal Credit application. This service can assist you in making a claim. It is available between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

  • Phone free: 0800 144 8 444
  • Relay UK if you can't hear or speak on the phone: 18001 then 0800 144 4 444
  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Webchat advice

Ask for a translator if you need advice in a different language.

Related content

Universal Credit: What Universal Credit is

Completing the move to Universal Credit

Universal Credit if you receive a Migration Notice letter