Money advice

Moving from tax credits to Universal Credit

Over the next few years everyone in receipt of certain benefits will need to move over to Universal Credit. Here is everything you need to know about the transition.

At present, those in receipt of tax credits only, (i.e. not someone who receives tax credits and housing benefit), are starting to be contacted by benefits agencies. You may have already received the red and blue leaflet about this, pictured to the right.

If you haven't received anything or been contacted yet, that means you do not have to do anything at this time. This page lets you know what to do when that time comes. 

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a newer scheme that replaces and brings together existing benefits by merging them into one payment that is usually paid monthly. 

The benefits that are being replaced by Universal Credit are:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

What do I need to do and when?

When you receive the above leaflet, read it to understand what is happening, but please note that at this stage you do not need to do anything further as this leaflet is for information purposes only. 

You do not need to make an application for Universal Credit at this point – applying before you are told to could result in you missing out on some benefits during the transition, so it is best to seek advice before deciding to apply.

You will eventually receive a formal letter called a Migration Notice which will state a deadline for you to apply for Universal Credit. The bottom of the letter will also say “This is a migration notice issued under Regulation 44 of the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014.” You must now sign up for Universal Credit and must not ignore this letter. 

To continue to receive financial support, you will need to make the application for Universal Credit yourself – the DWP will not automatically transfer you.

Where can I find further information?

For more information on this, take a look at the government website.