What to expect from a Universal Credit managed migration notice

2 mins read

Thursday 26 October 2023

Over the next few years, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will ask all legacy benefits claimants to claim Universal Credit instead.

This part of the process of rolling out Universal Credit across the UK is called managed migration. Managed migration is itself being rolled out across the country in stages. It has already started for tax credits-only claimants in most places and will next apply to claimants of other legacy benefits.

Can I claim Universal Credit before the DWP asks me to?

The DWP has already introduced Universal Credit for new claims. This means legacy benefits claimants can make a new claim for Universal Credit before the DWP asks them to.

But be careful!

Some people are worse off under Universal Credit. The government has promised to transitionally protect some existing legacy benefits claimants who’ll receive less, but only if they moved onto Universal Credit via managed migration. For this reason, you should seek specialist advice before voluntarily claiming Universal Credit.

Why you need to know what the managed migration notice looks like

When the DWP asks you to move onto Universal Credit, they’ll send you a “migration notice” in writing that your legacy benefits will be ending and you need to claim Universal Credit instead.

We’ve heard from families who’ve received a Universal Credit information leaflet before this time and have mistakenly assumed this to be the migration notice. Problems then arise if they go onto claim Universal Credit voluntarily, because any loss in their award won’t be transitionally protected.

For this reason, it’s important you know what the migration notice looks like.

What to look out for

In the notice, you’ll receive a date three months from the date on your migration notice within which to make a claim for Universal Credit. This is known as your deadline day. You should therefore make sure what you’re looking at has a clear deadline date on it.

The bottom of the migration notice states, “This is a migration notice issued under regulation 44 of the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014”, on each page.

Below is a picture of the front page of the migration notice:

Example of the front page of Universal Credit migration notice letter.

You can also download this image as a PDF file.