Universal Credit will replace six key benefits – are you affected?

Pension Credit: Expert discusses those not claiming benefit

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed it is planning to migrate 1.7 million Britons relying on legacy benefits to Universal Credit. The DWP will start moving up to 10,000 tax credit claimants, before then moving onto other benefit claimants including those on Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

It’s hoped everyone will be claiming Universal Credit by the end of 2024.

Universal Credit was first introduced in 2012 to replace six legacy benefits and simplify the system.

However the gradual process of moving all claimants onto Universal Credit was halted because of the pandemic.

Nearly six million Britons are already claiming Universal Credit either because they are looking for work or on a low income.

However, many others are still relying on legacy benefits including tax credits and disability benefits.

Plans to move Britons over was halted due to the pandemic , however the DWP have confirmed it is planning to migrate another 1.7 million Britons over which could mean some see their payments change.

Many tax credit claimants could be financially better off on Universal Credit.

People could take advantage of this by choosing to apply for Universal Credit sooner if they think it is right for them.

Britons can check a benefits calculator to see if they could be better off on Universal Credit.

Otherwise, people will be moved across by the Department for Work and Pensions by 2024.

If circumstances change, people may need to make a claim for Universal Credit anyway, because the benefits that Universal Credit replaces are no longer open for new claims.

Anela Anwar, chief executive of anti-poverty charity Z2K, said the Government must ensure it doesn’t leave people without essential finances.

She said: “It ensures DWP avoids a repeat of the shambolic early stages of Universal Credit, when many people were left without anything to live on for weeks or sometimes even months on end.”

She added: “That resulted in MPs getting hundreds of complaints from desperate and angry constituents.”

A DWP spokesperson said it has always been clear about moving everyone onto Universal Credit given time.

“We have always been clear about our ambition to move people over from the legacy systems, which are complex, inefficient and based on ageing, inflexible IT,” the DWP spokesperson emphasised.

The spokesperson continued: “The Department will continue its regular engagement with the committee and our ambition remains to see the rollout of Universal Credit delivered safely and on time by 2024.”

Meanwhile, £15billion goes unclaimed in benefits every year.

This could be due to lack of awareness or because people think there’s a stigma attached to being on benefits.

It’s hoped everyone will be claiming Universal Credit by the end of 2024.

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