The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is in the process of moving legacy benefit claimants onto universal credit (UC) through managed migration. Gradually, claimants are being selected for managed migration and are sent a ‘migration notice’ informing them that they have three months to claim UC, after which their legacy benefits payments will be terminated. 

Alongside the administrative challenge this poses to the DWP, the UC system requires claimants to make significant adjustments to how they manage their day-to-day finances. UC payments are less frequent, UC is primarily claimed and managed online, and claimants have their income assessed each month. Households who are financially worse off claiming UC may be entitled to ‘transitional protection’ to preserve their income at its pre-UC level. Some households will still be worse off in practice if higher debt deductions are made from their UC award.  

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is undertaking research to identify the key issues affecting claimants going through managed migration, with the objective of helping to improve the process. Since early 2023 we have been gathering case studies, and speaking to both welfare rights advisers and claimants to understand how managed migration is affecting households, what is going well and how it can be improved. We are sharing our evidence with the DWP on an ongoing basis. This report is the fourth in a series of public briefings summarising our findings to date.

Since our last report was published, the DWP has revealed that it plans to send a migration notice to most remaining legacy benefit claimants by the end of September 2024, a significant increase in the scope and complexity of the roll out seen to date. This report puts those plans in context, highlights the risks ahead and makes recommendations for how the process can be improved. 

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