Major Universal Credit restructuring affects 2.6 million applicants as of today – explained

Brits who claim benefits like Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance will be switched to Universal Credit as part of a major government campaign that starts again today

Millions of beneficiaries are being reallocated to Universal Credit
Millions of beneficiaries are being reallocated to Universal Credit

Millions of Brits on welfare will be worse off from today as old beneficiaries switch back to Universal Credit.

In the UK, around 2.6 million people still claim so-called ‘old’ benefits.

These include tax credits, earnings-related unemployment assistance (JSA), income support, earnings-related Employment and Assistance Allowance (ESA), and housing benefit.

This advantages will eventually be phased out as part of a conservative plan to replace them with a benefit – universal credit.

A “migration process” that will convert people to Universal Credit will restart today, Monday, May 9th.

This process had been temporarily suspended during the Covid pandemic.

Only around 500 people will be invited to move initially, but the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) will increase the number of people it processes over the next few months.

Everyone will eventually transition from the older welfare system to Universal Credit by December 2024.

Were you told you were switching to Universal Credit? Let us know:

Millions of beneficiaries are being reallocated to Universal Credit


(Getty Images)

Anyone applying for new benefits now will automatically receive Universal Credit.

When it’s your turn to migrate to the new system, you’ll receive a “migration notice” in the mail, giving you three months to apply for Universal Credit.

If you do not apply for Universal Credit within this time, your current benefits will automatically cease after this period.

Some people may switch to Universal Credit early if they notice a change in circumstances — for example, moving home or changing their work hours.

As we mentioned above, everyone will eventually migrate — but you can migrate sooner if you think you’re better off.

Not everyone will get more money with Universal Credit. The DWP claims that 1.4 million (55%) would be better off under the new system and 900,000 (35%) would be worse off.

The other 300,000 beneficiaries will see no change.

We have a guide here on how to check if you’re better off with Universal Credit.

Once you apply for Universal Credit, your old benefits will stop — you’ll then have to wait five weeks for your first Universal Credit payment to arrive.

Some legacy benefits will “roll on” for two weeks to fill some of this gap.

These include Housing Benefit, Income Support, Earnings-Related Employment and Support Allowance, and Earnings-Related Unemployment Assistance.

Both types of tax credits stop paying once you claim Universal Credit.

Which services are replaced?

Universal Credit replaces the following six benefits:

  • Labor Tax Credit
  • child allowance
  • Earned Unemployment Assistance (JSA)
  • social care
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • housing benefit

Most of those moving to Universal Credit relate to ESA (1.2 million) or tax credits (1 million).

200k receive welfare and 100k each housing benefit and JSA.

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