Since first being introduced in 2013, Universal Credit (UC) has streamlined and simplified the benefits system to better support those in work on low incomes, as well as those who are unemployed or who cannot work.
Claimants who are on the old style (legacy) benefit payments system are currently being migrated over to UC payments.
This will happen with a three-track approach – natural migration, voluntary migration (“choose to move”) and managed migration.
As has been the case since the start of UC rollout, when a legacy claimant experiences a change in circumstances (for example, a change in employment status or family situation), they need to make a new claim for a benefit that UC has replaced and they will “naturally” migrate to UC.
Legacy claimants can choose themselves to voluntarily move across to UC.
For those claimants who do not choose to migrate voluntarily nor have migrated naturally, DWP will need to manage their migration to UC.
Underpinning managed migration is the DWPs commitment to transitional financial protection to ensure that eligible households who are moved to UC do not have a lower award on UC at the point they move if their UC entitlement is lower than their entitlement on legacy benefits.
DWP recognise that claimants’ confidence, experience and trust in the benefit system will vary. That is why the managed migration track will also be underpinned by a customer-focused approach with effective processes and systems to move people across safely.
There are several key tasks to focus on to start managed migration:
i. gathering data on the different circumstances of legacy benefits’ claimants;
ii. designing the processes and tools to calculate both UC entitlement and transitional protection (where applicable), then paying the correct award;
iii. assessing and providing the different levels of support required to make a successful claim;
iv. considering how best to notify claimants about their move; and,
v. understanding the different challenges claimants may face after making their claim to UC and the support they need.
Work to design the managed migration process resumed this January. DWP will soon start moving small numbers of legacy claimants on to UC, with a focus on refining the processes and systems for doing so to support our claimants as effectively as possible.
Optimising support for claimants in moving to UC will be a critical part of the managed migration process. The department will work closely with stakeholder groups throughout this work to monitor and understand what support is required and what works bests for claimants. We expect all claimants to migrate to UC by 2024.
If tenants have any questions or queries about this subject, they can contact the Job Centre Plus who have walk in and appointment based services to support benefit claimants.
For further information see; Completing the move to Universal Credit – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)