We have been contacted by a number of our tenants who have received a 4 page leaflet from HMRC telling them that their Tax Credits are ending and that they will need to claim Universal Credit. In reality, anyone who receives other means tested benefits in addition to Tax Credits, won’t need to move over to Universal Credit until the 2024/25 tax year.
Our Money Matters team have put together this easy to understand guide to help any of our tenants who may be worrying unnecessarily
Timetable for UC managed migration in East Anglia from July 2023 onwards:
- From April 2023 to 2024, those on Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit and not on any other ‘legacy benefit’ will be sent a letter (‘Migration Notices’) inviting them to claim UC. This group is being called ‘Tax Credits only’.
- In 2024/25 the DWP plan to send Migration Notices to the remaining tax credit cases (which also receive DWP benefits) and Income Support, Housing Benefit and Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- By the end of 2024/25 DWP will have completed the moves of all legacy cases with Tax Credits (including those on both ESA and Tax Credits), all cases on Income Support (IS) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and all Housing Benefit (HB) only cases.
- The managed migration of the remaining ESA cases and ESA/Housing Benefit cases will be delayed until 2028/29.
What you may have received so far (which may be confusing):
From September 2023, HMRC are also sending out leaflets to all Tax Credit claimants saying their “Tax Credits are ending” which is causing panic, with people thinking they have to claim Universal Credit earlier than they need to. Remember, if nothing has changed, you only need to claim Universal Credit when you receive an actual Migration Notice letter.
How does managed migration work with Universal Credit?
You won’t move onto Universal Credit automatically. Instead, you will have to make a claim for Universal Credit. You’ll receive a “migration notice” in writing that your legacy benefits will be ending.
Do I have a choice in moving to UC?
If you get a Migration Notice’ letter you should not ignore it. You must claim Universal Credit within the deadline on the letter. This is usually 3 months from the date on the letter. You other ‘legacy benefits’ will normally stop on the day after the deadline to apply unless you contact them beforehand to explain why you need more time and they accept you reason.
When you receive an actual Migration Notice letter:
Migration Notice letters will be issued from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) explaining what people need to do and will include signposting to help for those who need it.
The Migration Notice will inform people that they need to make their claim to UC within three months from the date of their letter and that their tax credits will end if they decide not to make a claim.
Anyone making a claim to UC following receipt of a Migration Notice letter will have their benefit entitlement protected through Transitional Protection. This means that people with no change in their circumstances will not have a reduced entitlement at the point they move to UC.
Those entitled to UC will receive their first payment approximately five weeks after submitting a claim and will receive payments once a month thereafter.
Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.
If you’re claiming Universal Credit for the first time, Citizens Advice Help to Claim service is free and confidential. They can help you:
- check if you’re entitled to Universal Credit.
- get your important paperwork and documents together to speed up your application.
- fill in the Universal Credit application online.
- prepare for your first Jobcentre appointment.
- check your first payment is correct.
Call: 0800 144 8444 Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
You can also talk to a trained adviser online through the Citizens Advice Help to Claim chat service.
Other information is available: