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Universal Credit rollout continues

As a community housing non-profit housing association, Worthing Homes wants to ensure that our residents are informed about the recent changes regarding benefits, particularly the transition from certain ‘legacy’ benefits like Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit to Universal Credit (UC) by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The roll-out of UC has been ongoing for several years and has now reached West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, making it one of the last remaining areas to implement this change.

If you are already receiving Universal Credit, this transition will not affect you. However, for those who are not yet receiving Universal Credit but are claiming any of the following benefits, it’s essential to be aware of the following key points:

  • Claimants of benefits such as Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit (excluding the housing element of UC), Income-related ESA, Income-related JSA, and Income Support will soon receive their Migration Notice from the DWP.
  • Managed Migration Notices began issuance in February 2024, and the process may continue until March 2025.
  • It’s crucial to remain on your existing benefit until you receive your official DWP Migration Notice.
  • The HMRC has been sending early warning letters to individuals on Tax Credits, but these letters do not contain a deadline date and are not the Migration Notice from the DWP. The official Migration Notice will include a deadline date.
  • You must initiate your claim for Universal Credit before the deadline date specified in the Migration Notice.
  • If transitioning to UC results in a reduction of benefits compared to your legacy benefit, the DWP will provide Transitional Protection to top up your UC claim to the same amount as your legacy benefit(s).
  • Do not begin a UC claim before receiving the official Migration Notice. Initiating a claim prematurely may result in the loss of Transitional Protection, as the DWP will assume voluntary initiation of UC claim.
  • Ignoring a DWP Managed Migration Notice may lead to the withdrawal of legacy benefits. The deadline for action will be 3 months plus 1 day from the date of issuance of the Managed Migration Notice.
  • If you require assistance in making a UC claim, the notice will include a DWP support number. Additionally, the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service can offer support to new UC claimants.

At Worthing Homes, we understand the importance of navigating these changes smoothly, and we encourage anyone affected to seek assistance and ensure a seamless transition.