500,000 Britons urged to ‘take action’ after DWP letter or lose benefits entitlement

Man looking at letter and DWP sign

Legacy benefit claimants have been told to await a letter from the DWP

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 09/04/2024

- 14:08

Updated: 09/04/2024

- 20:57

Legacy benefit claimants are being moved onto Universal Credit under current DWP plans

Half a million benefit claimants are being reminded to “take action” after a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or risk losing the Government support they’re entitled to.

The Government department is alerting those claiming old benefits of pending Migration Notices which will ask them to transition to Universal Credit.

Any claimants who do not complete this task within three months of receiving a DWP letter risk losing benefit entitlements.

Over 130,000 people have already switched from tax credits to the modern digital Universal Credit system.

The DWP claims this allows claimants to access their benefits more easily and make changes to their claim depending on their circumstances.

Claimants, including those with limited work requirements, will be able to access a variety of unemployment support through via face-to-face Jobcentre support in and via Help to Claim.

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Universal Credit sign

This transition to Universal Credit is part of the Government's wider "Back to Work" plan


Here is a breakdown of when those on certain benefit payments should expect to receive their Migration Notice from the DWP:

  • Income Support and Tax Credits with Housing Benefit claimants will receive a letter from April
  • Housing Benefit claimants only will receive a letter from June
  • ESA (Income Based) with Child Tax Credit will receive a letter from July
  • Tax Credits (Pension Aged including mixed aged couples) will receive a letter from August
  • JSA (Income Based) will receive a letter from September.

With this warning, the DWP has assured the above benefit claimants they will not lose out financially when moving to Universal Credit.

If someone’s entitlement to Universal Credit is lower than their legacy benefit entitlement, they will be entitled to a top-up payment known as Transitional Protection.

Thanks to this measure, those moving onto Universal Credit will be paid the same amount as their legacy benefit entitlement.

The recent expansion of Universal Credit comes amid the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s wider “Back to Work” plan which seeks to get more people of working-age out of the benefits system.

Jo Churchill MP, the Government’s minister for Employment, said: “Universal Credit is a proven benefits system fit for the modern age.

“With even more people moving to Universal Credit, we can continue to provide the best level of support for people to secure financial independence through work.

“I would encourage all those who receive their Migration Notices to take action to ensure they continue to receive the benefits they are entitled to.”


Family going over finances

Claimants who do not respond to the Migration Notice could lose access to Universal Credit


One benefit claimant, Paul from Ashington, shared his experience of moving from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.

He said: “I was so worried about having to move to Universal Credit, because I thought I would be pushed into a job search I didn't feel comfortable or ready for.

“The move has been made easy because of the support and help I received from my Work Coach, Pauline.

“Moving to Universal Credit has been so much easier than I expected. I’ve been able to keep on top of my payments and I’m now closer than ever to finding work.”

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