MP’s have challenged work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey this month about creating ‘two classes of claimants’ because those who are forced to migrate from ESA to universal credit before the annual uprating in April 2023 will be subject to a big cash hit.

Coffey, however, denied that she was concerned about it.

The exchanges came during Coffey’s meeting with the commons work and pensions committee last week.

Shaun Bailey MP raised the issue of transitional protection, because ESA claimants who are forced to migrate before the April uprating will lose out badly. 

In effect, ESA claimants who migrate after the uprating will keep what is likely to be around a  9% increase in their benefits.  However, claimant who migrate before that date will have any uprating deducted from their transitional protection, leaving them much worse off than claimants who migrate later.

Bailey told Coffey “Clearly, there is going to have to be some sort of discussion within the Department around transitional protection in light of this and the fact that you may effectively almost unintentionally create two classes of claimants as regard to their transition protection.”

However, Coffey was clearly unmoved by the loss that this group of claimants would experience.  She responded that:

“It is not two classes of claimants. The policy is set. The transitional protection applies to the amount that you were receiving on this kind of benefits process; it is just you get at least the same on this new different system. At minimum, it is the same income.”

When asked if she would accept that this would lead to inequality, Coffey dismissed the issue, saying only that “I am not anticipating we will have lots of managed migration by April.”

In other words:  does it really matter if a few thousand claimants are made much worse off as result of managed migration?

Clearly not to Therese Coffey.

The reality is that the uprating issue turns managed migration into a lottery, in which those who are drawn early lose out badly simply because luck was against them.  Is that a responsible way to provide support to claimants who are already struggling desperately to cope with rising prices?

You can read the full minutes of the work and pensions committee meeting here.


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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    aar · 1 years ago
    i had transitional protection from 2019 of £150 per month and they reduce it as benefits go up. every time the ha put the rent and service charge up i lose  whatever it geos up by. this year im down to less than £30 of it remaining a month soon be nothing.
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    terdun9 · 1 years ago
    We had to do this on march 2021 when my husband became a pensioner and myself is only 61 so therefore we are classed as what they call a mixed-age couple, this seemed to cus no end of trouble because my husband was getting a carer's allowance for me, and also I was getting the same for him.
    Because he is now getting his state pension, he can no longer get CA for me, so we stopped this immediately, I still get CA for him, and because we were on ESA and I was part of my husband's claim for many years, I had to make a UC claim. this was done and boy oh boy were we worse off by a lot. and I must say after a lot of different amounts being paid to us never the same amount 2 months in a row we then went to a £0 award to £44 then £226 every month it's different and I am constantly having to ask if this is correct why do I ask then this every month well simply nothing ever changes our end we are still a mixed age couple he still doesn't get CA but I do I really don't understand why this is the case.
                  so yes MS Coffey we are a lot worse off and we never know what's coming next, not going into details as to what trouble this makes monthly when it come to my council tax payments

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    Sharon · 2 years ago
    Honestly these politicians live in their own world & have no idea of the reality of being dependent on benefits. In the last 2 years I’ve suffered breast cancer, lost my husband to Covid & still have my disabilities to deal with. I honestly don’t know how I can survive on these payments let alone if they reduce them. Scary times we live in. 
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    Nicholas1972 · 2 years ago
    God willing a change in PM may see a new Sec of State for DWP
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    sickandtired · 2 years ago
    I seem to remember a post from a while from you emails that Medway was one of the first to migrate is that still the case? Thank you
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    Lisa · 2 years ago
    Why is she still
    in her job the woman is a cold fish with no heart or compassion. She should be sacked 
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    Aw · 2 years ago
    Not just the uprating, we'll lose any increase in rent aswell. My housing association has for the last few years been raising rents at inflation plus 1%. This year that meant an extra £5 pw of which this time I only had to pay 14% of (bedroom tax). After UC I will have to pay the whole amount of any increase, which will start to be considerable. I reckon it will only take a few years for my TP to be gone and with it, any semblance of a once poor but manageable existence. I will simply not cope with living on the breadline, the stress will end me.

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