What is "migration" to Universal Credit?

Migration means that you may be told to move to Universal Credit from other benefits known as legacy benefits (Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit). You may be moved because of "natural migration" which is because you have a change in your circumstances, or because of "managed migration". You will not be automatically transferred from your existing benefit(s) to Universal Credit, you will be required to submit a new claim for Universal Credit.

Managed migration explained

Managed migration is where the Government moves you on to Universal Credit from another benefit even if your circumstances have not changed. This process started on a small scale in 2022 only affecting some areas nationally. However this is now progressing steadily, and it is expected that most people in receipt of a legacy benefit (Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit) will be moved over to Universal Credit by the end of March 2025.

As part of the Managed Migration process, the Government is writing to people inviting them to claim Universal Credit. The letter is called a Migration Notice. It's happening in stages depending which legacy benefit you are in receipt of.

Managed migration of tax credits - from January 2024

The first group of households affected by managed migration are households where tax credits are in payment and no other income-related benefit mentioned above is in payment. Examples include:

  • Working and receiving tax credits
  • Self-employed and receiving tax credits

You will not be affected in the first group if you are receiving tax credits as well as any of the following:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Households in receipt of these other benefits will be affected, but not until after April 2024.

Managed migration of Income Support, and Tax Credits with Housing Benefit

The second group of households to be affected will be those in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Income Support with Housing Benefit
  • Tax Credits with Housing Benefit

Will I get a letter?

The Department for Works and Pension will be sending Migration Notices to Coventry residents in receipt of Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit only from 22 January 2024.

The Department for Works and Pensions will be sending Migration Notices to Coventry residents in receipt of Tax Credits with Housing Benefit, or Income Support with or without Housing Benefit from 09 April 2024

When you do get this letter, do not ignore it. You must claim Universal Credit because your legacy benefit will stop after three months of the date of the letter. If you are late in making this claim you will lose any entitlement to "Transitional Protection". Transitional Protection is the difference between your existing entitlement and your entitlement to UC. If you were better off on your existing benefit and you claim UC before the deadline then you should be no worse off when you move to UC. If you make your claim for UC after the 3-month deadline then you will not be paid your Transitional Protection.

If you are living in rented accommodation and receive care, support or supervision as part of your tenancy or you are living in temporary homeless accommodation you will continue to claim Housing Benefit to support with your rent costs.

You have to claim Universal Credit online (or, you can claim it over the phone in limited circumstances)

More information is available from the Understanding Universal Credit website.

Useful contact numbers

  • Help to claim: Tel 0800 1448444
  • DWP migration helpline: Tel 08001690328

Local support and advice agencies

  • Central England Law Centre - Tel 024 7622 3053
    A charity offering free legal advice and representation to people living in Coventry. It specialises in immigration advice, benefit appeal tribunals and employment and discrimination advice.
  • Coventry Citizens Advice - Tel 024 7622 3284
    Free service offering debt advice and other advice services.
  • Coventry Independent Advice Service - Tel 024 7652 1100
    A charity offering free advice, information and support to all Coventry residents.
  • Coventry Age UK - Tel 024 7623 1999
    An advice service for people aged over 50.
  • Coventry and Warwickshire MIND - Tel 024 7655 2847
    For mental health awareness and information.

Benefits Advice Line

Address: Floor 1
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate House

Telephone: 024 7683 2000