As the forced (managed) migration from legacy benefits to universal credit (UC) begins this month, the DWP have finally released figures showing how many claimants will be worse off under UC.  Half a million ESA claimants are expected to lose out.  We’re asking Benefits and Work readers what questions and concerns they have about the move.

The forced migration of legacy benefits claimants starts on 9 May.  Initially this will be just 500 claimants, as the DWP is still very obviously unclear about how they are going to manage to move 2.6 million claimants by their deadline of  the end of 2014.

Just 38 claimants were moved onto UC during a pilot in Harrogate that was abandoned due to the pandemic.

Because that is the only experience the DWP have of ‘managed migration’ it is not surprising that they say that:

 “We still need to finalise our approach, particularly for managed migration, and will undertake further work in some parts of the country, learning what support different claimants are likely to need in order to make a successful claim for UC.”

Figures in the Completing the move to universal credit report released this month show that 1.2 million ESA claimants will be making the move.

Of these, 600,000 are expected to be better off under UC.  100,000 will see no change. 

But the DWP predict that 500,000 current ESA claimants will be worse off.

Of these, 400,000 ESA claimants will receive transitional protection, which should mean they do not see any reduction in their benefits to begin with.  However, the value of this protection will be eroded every year because, with the exception of the childcare element, any annual increase in UC will be deducted from the transitional protection.

So migrated claimants will begin to be worse off within a year or less of making the move.

Some changes of circumstances will lead to the withdrawal of the transitional protection.

Amongst the people the DWP expect to be better off are ESA claimants who are in the support group but who do not get the severe disability payment.

Those who the DWP expect to be worse off include households who get ESA and receive the severe disability premium and the enhanced disability premium.

Benefits and Work already produces a detailed guide to the work capability assessment for UC to help claimants who qualify to move into the LCW and LCWRA groups.

We also have a guide to migration from ESA to UC.

Although we obviously can’t do anything about lost income, we are working on additional resources to help members with the transfer process. We’d really like to hear from you about what your concerns are and what questions you’d like answering.

Please leave your questions and suggestions in the comments section below or complete a Feedback form.

Additional note: benefits that will not be affected by the move to UC include: 

  • Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (cJSA)
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (cESA)

Comments

Write comments...
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sarah · 3 months ago
    Will an esa claimant in support group automatically go into new style esa support group if in receipt of pip as well?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    G · 3 months ago
    I too have ESA support group in my own right from contributions and am severe disabled.  My partner also severe disabled has ESA income related and severe disability.  As others have said, UC is income related, when anything happens to my elderly mother it will take me over the limits for savings, but not by a huge amount.  My elderly Mum is a self funder in a care home of her own volition and I live rent free in her bungalow.  We had always understood my partner will lose all his benefits due to my inheritance, exact same as when my divorce money came through some years ago, so I had to keep us both on just my ESA coming in and paying full for everything, rent alone costing more than coming in back then.  But this forcing onto UC will leave us with no income at all, nothing, until my own pension in my own right, which has also already been raided too and moved back by age.  If they can tell me please how to pay everything everyone else has to pay in household bills, without disability essentials, domestic private paid help thanks to care cuts, and care charges as well x two of us, on complete fresh air, please let me know too.  As Carolyn said, we can bare make ends meet now, and we are severe disabled and vulnerable, no relatives to do a thing.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      VikingMermaid · 3 months ago
      @G G, so sorry to hear your situation.

      As I understand it, if you inherit money (ie from being left money in a will), you are given six months grace before it is assessed as savings.  

      The logic would be to use the savings, either by buying things you really need but can't currently afford, or more logically by moving house into a larger/more expensive property.  The latter would at least protect that inheritance until you come off benefits (ie you reach pensionable age), at which point you could then sell up, move to a cheaper property, and put your inheritance in the bank.  (I don't downplay the massive upheaval of moving house, btw, especially twice!)

      Of course, the rules might well have changed since I read about the six-month period of grace, but that's the law as I understood it a year ago.  Wishing you the very best of luck.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    debi blanchard · 3 months ago
    not just money transitional protection, what about the terms and conditions?? , ? will they be protected also? esa theraputic workers, there work alowance is higher at £140pw than uc, and disabled students on esa, uc is designed to not support students or asses there work capability resulting in mass forced uc dropouts. and what about students doing theraputic work ??, i have some as a support worker, the mind boggles what transition will do to them, and HB direct rent, uc APA are notoriously hard to get, even with landlord support, mass homeless for autistic tenants is inevitable. iv seen nothing about protecting existing terms and conditions, just cash trasition. help!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Angel · 2 months ago
      @debi blanchard If students on UC have previously had a WCA, they ‘should’ be fine. But legislation is amended all the time. CPAG do a ‘Students & Benefits’ book if you go to their website. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Angel · 2 months ago
      @debi blanchard A lot of people with additional support needs will be screwed. It’s barbaric. Ditto older people/others who are not computer literate. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Carolyn. · 3 months ago
    Please help - I've just found that UC is solely based on income.  I get ESA Support Group based on my contributions, not on my income, and still have some savings left.  I also get PIP standard rate care and mobility.  I currently pay my whole Council Tax but it's a struggle.  If my ESA is replaced by UC I won't get anything at all. So I'll be living just on the PIP I get.  How will I live? I can barely afford to keep my home now.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      G · 3 months ago
      @Carolyn. Carolyn, I hear you and totally understand.  There will be many of us in this position.  Hopefully what Debi has said will be correct. Let's try breathe steadily for now <3

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      debi blanchard · 3 months ago
      @Carolyn. contribution esa is not being replaced only means tested esa. check with welfare rights but you are probably safe from migration. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Wendy Morgan · 3 months ago
    Surely we have a right to say `No` to be put on U.C.  It is our human right.
    Leave well alone.  This is no way to claw back money.  These cut backs always leave the vulnerable
    who require extra support worse off.



  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    JenK · 3 months ago
    I am petrified of moving to universal credit as when I moved from incapacity benefit to esa had to jump through hoops to get award sorted and didn't get any rises or cost of living until esa caught up it's going to make me be about 200 per month worse off once I start the migration which I feel if you been on benefit due to a long term condition shod have to change to suit government 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Christine Phoenix · 3 months ago
    Never have I been more confused than I am when it comes to what I’m entitled too. A phone call to DWP to have things explained to me didn’t help one bit. I am in receipt of HB CTC PIP standard care the next bit is where confusiom reigns ESA Cont Support Group then my letter says enhanced Disability premium and SDP but because there is a benefits cap and I have an occupational pension I don’t actually receive the money for SDP. I’ve done a benefits calculator which shows I’d be £20 per worse off but would I still get transitional protection if I don’t receive the actual amount from SDP even though I would if I didnt receive my occupational pension - so very confused and stressed out 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Wayne · 3 months ago
    Does anyone know where the 500 trial phase will take place? 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Maxine. · 3 months ago
    I receive esa, with a severe disability payment, as I also get standard rate pip, for care needs. I, m concerned I, ll be worse off financially, when the dwp move me to universal credit, as I read, I may lose the severe disability payment. I, m in the support group for esa. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Nicki · 3 months ago
    I am on IR ESA in the Support group, Standard care PIP and Enhanced Mobility PIP, CTS and HB, currently as I share a house (I have my own bedroom but share kitchen, bathroom etc) I get shared accommodation HB, yet the person I share a house with is on UC and gets thier share of the rent in full!  I have to make up my shortfall from my income!
     I have never understood all the changes as originally Incapacity Benefit, then onto CB ESA, now IR ESA onto UC!  Have a feeling it is all just a numbers game for the government, by transferring all ESA claiminants onto UC they cannot differentiate! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Tracy · 3 months ago
    This is so worrying and has spiralled me into dark thoughts of desperation. 
    Before ESA I’m sure there was a clause fir claimants that claimed invalidity benefit before 1995, were able to keep their disability benefits , I  I am severely disabled , on esa income related , will be so much worse off , will lose my home , what about disability rights. Since being moved from invalidity and disablement benefit , before esa I am worse off , now I will def lose my home if what I read is correct , claimants on severe disability premium will be worse off 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    John · 3 months ago
    Why car,nt they leave things alone i had to fight tooth and nail to get my SDP backpayment..so it will now be eroded by the dwp so people with disabiloties mean nothing to the dwp
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lucy · 3 months ago
    I am in the support group of ESA also, I have been told when you receive the letter, to move onto UC you have 3 months in which to do so, is this true? Also, unless a change in circumstances you will have the transitional protection during migration. I am trying to put a little by every fortnight to counterbalance the move to reduce the impact of what will be I'm sure a stressful event to say the least....
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Phoebe · 3 months ago
    Does this affect everyone on ESA? I’ve been under the impression that those on CB ESA won’t be forced onto UC, is that correct? Though I am in the Support Group (on CB ESA) so perhaps I would be better off in UC? I’m not sure how to find out. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      VikingMermaid · 3 months ago
      @Phoebe Phoebe, I was told by Citizen's Advice a year ago that I'd be better off switching from CB ESA Support Group to UC, so it looks like we're all going to get swept up in the net.  (Of course, things may have changed since then, especially if it means we'll be financially better off; I could easily see the DWP deciding to 'leave us alone' if it means they'll have to shell out more money... 😠)
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Phoebe · 3 months ago
      @Rachel Thanks. I’ve since been told the same, so hopefully that’s the case. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rachel · 3 months ago
      @Phoebe I’m in the same position as you Phoebe, in the support group receiving CB  ESA. If I can find anything out I’ll let you know. From what I have found in my searches only mentions IR ESA migrating to UC.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lana · 3 months ago
    What changes in circumstances would lead to withdrawal of Transitional Protection once youve been swapped over to UC? I receive IR ESA Support Group, Pip Enhanced for both, SDP, Housin Benefit, Council Tax Support, Child Tax Credit & Child Benefit.  Thank you
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Chris Phoenix · 2 months ago
      @Lana The yearly increases to benefits will reduce Transitional protection this will continue until TP is zero. Effectively it means if benefits increase by £20 TP is reduced by same amount
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    D Peplow · 3 months ago
    This Government is only interested in making the rich richer and the DWP is now making things even harder for disabled people to live, I am very worried with this change to UC as I cannot afford to be taken off my Esa, the whole thing is a disgrace 😢 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sharon · 3 months ago
    I had a change of circumstances and was told by ESA after waiting twelve weeks I could not get the twelve weeks money on waiting for claim to be sorted out and that I could no longer claim ESA. I would have to claim Universal Credit I did I lost all premiums for disability also lost whole amount of SDP. No transitional payment just lost it. Was given no choice.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      VikingMermaid · 3 months ago
      @Sharon That sounds so rubbish for you, Sharon.  I know that it's been standard to move people from ESA over to UC if there's any change in circumstances for some time, but that's no excuse for them making a complete mess of the transition.  Have you contacted your MP about this?  It sounds out like you lost out big time.  Even if you don't like your MP (I certainly don't like mine!) it's really worth letting them know how messed up the system is, and asking for their help with getting it sorted.

      Years ago I worked for the Dept of Environment (I sorted out maps linked to planning applications), and any time an appeal (against permission being refused) came in with a letter from an MP attached, the files were red flagged, dealt with straight away, and gone over with a fine tooth comb to check we hadn't made a mistake.  (This was over 30 years ago, so I can't claim that MPs letters to other government departments work in the same way today, but you've nothing to lose in trying.). Good luck! :)

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Helen · 3 months ago
    I have quite literally been told nothing, but my benefits, ESA Legacy, were not in the bank this morning. After calling and going through a automated questionare i am told my next payment will be the 18th of may, by a machine, which is exactly 1 month since my last payment. I normally get paid every two weeks, am i being moved over do we think? Impossible to talk to an actual person I am going to my local job centre in a couple of days to find out what has happened, in the meantime i have a list of dwp phone numbers and time on my hands. Has anyone else gone through this today
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      G · 3 months ago
      @Helen Helen, this happened to me a few weeks ago and took me a fortnight to resolve. Thanks to B&W I knew they were running every single piece of anti fraud they have after doing nothing during the pandemic. It is catching many who are totally innocent.  It's a possibilty same as mine, it was 'a mistake' but a very costly mistake for us with no money in the bank fora fortnight. Make notes each call, let them know playing pass the parcel with us between different staff is only making things worse.  I called every day for two weeks at great cost to my health.  Fingers crossed yours soon will be resolved x
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Karl · 3 months ago
    I’m on ESA in the support group category. I am also now my mothers full time carer. A friend told me that if I was put on UC I would also be able to get carers allowance as my money would fall to under the amount allowed to qualify for it and yet I’m far too worried to do this in case I wasn’t. You get no help regarding these matters. Surely there should be someone appointed to ensure people in these extreme circumstances get what they’re entitled to automatically as the sheer terror I feel when calling these government agencies is just to much. I just hope when this finally happens my mum and I get the help we truly require. Thank you. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      G · 3 months ago
      @Karl Karl read up on the Carers UK website.  I think same as me, it will be just Underlying Carers as it is called a clash of benefits. However emotional, financial, safeguarding support is still legitimate support towards the 35(?)hrs care to qualify. It will at least protect your stamp.  Age UK could also advise as your Mum is involved here too.

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Nick · 3 months ago
      @Karl Carers is deducted from the amount you receive on UC!  I know my carer has been forced to claim UC and the carers allowance is deducted from their UC. If in any doubt I would suggest contacting CAB and discussing it with them, they would be better suited to advise you on this and explain if you would be better or worse off. 😀
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    David Smith · 3 months ago
    I am in the ESA support group. I do 12 hours of permitted work. I would be concerned if I lose the ability to do permitted work when I have to change to UC. Can you tell us if the rules will change, including number of hours we can work and amount we an earn?

    Not being able to do permitted work will have a huge impact on my finances.

    I'd also like to know if I will be assessed when being transferred from ESA to UC (work capability questionnaire and interview). Do you know if this will happen?

Free PIP, ESA & UC Updates!

Delivered Fortnightly

Over 110,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

 
iContact
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.