Income Support is being replaced – what happens after Universal Credit claim

Coffey questioned on Universal Credit uplift and legacy benefits

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The Government plans to help move all legacy benefit claimants to Universal Credit before the end of 2024. The scheme is due to restart next month, after having been delayed by the pandemic, when a surge of new claims to Universal Credit took a toll on the low staff levels.

The six legacy benefits are first on the DWPs roster to move over to Universal Credit, which includes:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support 
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit. 

The transition process is due to restart on May 9, 2022, and claimants will be notified of when they will be asked to make the move. 

To ensure that no one becomes worse off due to the move, those that would receive lower payments will have a top up if they are eligible, so they will receive the same entitlement they did on the legacy system. 

However, people currently claiming legacy benefits do not necessarily have to wait until they receive their notice to move. 

People can check their entitlement on Universal Credit using benefits calculators and if they are better off on the new system can make their claim. 

It should be noted, however, that claimants cannot revert back to their old benefits once they have made the move. 

And, claimants moving to Universal Credit of their own accord will lose the transitional protection provided to those moved by the DWP.

The amount claimants receive under the transitional protection will not affect the amount they are due from Universal Credit payments. 

Under the transitional protection, people receiving Housing Benefit will receive a two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment. 

People claiming the below legacy benefits will receive a two-week run-on of their payments which will not need to be paid back:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

The amount one receives through the transitional protection will reduce over time as their Universal Credit payments increase, or could stop altogether in certain circumstances. 

This includes if a claimant:

  • Was single but is now a couple
  • Was a couple but is now single
  • Has a drop in earnings over three months.

Until claimants make the move to Universal Credit they must still report any changes of circumstances to the DWP.

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