Universal Credit is part of the Government's wider welfare reform plans. Universal Credit merges six working age benefits into a single household benefit.
You won’t be moved automatically, so it’s important to act quickly and follow the instructions in the Migration Notice letter you receive, otherwise your benefits will stop.
Universal Credit Migration Notices 2023
The following working age benefits are ending soon and are being replaced by Universal Credit:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Other benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), will stay the same.
You need to move to Universal Credit if you have received a Migration Notice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), as one or more of your benefits will be ending soon.
You won't be moved to Universal Credit automatically, so it's important to act quickly and follow the instructions in the letter, otherwise your benefits will stop.
To continue to receive financial support, you will need to claim Universal Credit by the deadline stated in your Migration Notice letter, even if you have just renewed your tax credits claim.
Who is Universal Credit for
Universal Credit is for people who:
- are on a low income
- need help with living costs
- are working (including self-employed or part time)
- are out of work
- have a health condition that affects their ability to work.
More details regarding Universal Credit can be found on the Understanding Universal Credit website.
How to claim Universal Credit
Once you have received a Universal Credit Migration Notice letter, you can apply for Universal Credit online.
You need to create an account to make a claim. You must complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you will need to start again.
When you or your partner make a claim to Universal Credit your existing benefits that are being replaced by Universal Credit will stop. You cannot go back to those benefits because they are ending.
If you cannot claim online, you can claim by phone through the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline 0800 169 0328 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).
Please use Relay UK if you cannot hear or speak on the phone by dialling 18001 then 0800 169 0328.
0800 phone numbers are free to call from mobiles and landlines.
You can find out more about claiming Universal Credit on the government's website.
Free support is also available from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.
Housing Benefit changes for people of working age
Since 14 December 2016, if you are of working age and live in Hastings or St Leonards, you have not able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit. Instead, if you require help to pay rent/housing costs, you need to make an online claim for Universal Credit. To find out more about how to do this, see the Universal Credit area below.
If you are Working Age and already receiving Housing Benefit, it may be replaced by Universal Credit if your circumstances change. If this happens you will be notified.
Housing Benefit information for people of pension age
If you and your partner (if you have one) are of pensionable age you will not be affected by the DWP's Universal Credit roll out.
For couples, where one of you are pensionable age and the other is working age, different rules apply, and you may be required to claim Universal Credit depending on your circumstances.