The DWP has announced in a bulletin sent to local authorities that it is planning to begin notifying  employment and support (ESA) claimants that they need to move to universal credit (UC) in September 2024, with the aim of notifying everyone affected to make the move by December 2025.

The announcement means that the move is likely to begin before any election takes place.  An incoming government could still put the process on hold if they chose, but clearly there will be considerable resistance from the DWP to yet another change of timetable..  Especially as we revealed earlier this week, the DWP is expecting to save £5 billion due to the high number of claimants who will fail to complete the forced migration from legacy benefits to universal credit.  

The affected claimant will be income-related ESA claimants and also ESA with housing benefit claimants.  Previously, migration of these groups was not scheduled to take place until 2028.

According to the LA Welfare Direct Bulletin:

"On Friday 19 April 2024, the Prime Minister made a speech that included the announcement to accelerate the movement of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and ESA with HB claimants to UC.

“Many claimants will be better off on UC than legacy benefits and we estimate around half of our ESA and ESA with HB claimants would receive over £100 a month more on UC. Claimants will also be able to benefit from improved work incentives and enhanced labour market support for those who want it.

“Our delivery approach and timelines will be informed by detailed planning and engagement with stakeholders, but our current planning assumption is that we would begin notifying this group in September 2024, with the aim of notifying everyone to make the move by December 2025.

“A new Move to UC communications campaign launched in March 2024 to help prepare claimants with other benefit combinations for their move to UC. The campaign is running nationally and is being delivered through radio, paid search (Google and Bing), outdoor advertising (bus stops and billboards), digital and social media advertising.

“The campaign aims to tackle claimant fear and anxiety about moving to Universal Credit, using the headline ‘Keep things smooth by making the move to Universal Credit’. Advertising also signposts to www.gov.uk/ucmove, which is a new website containing supportive information, real life case studies and advice on how to prepare for the move.”

Members can download our 28 page document “ESA to UC - A guide to migration” which explains the process for migrating to UC and what you can do now to prepare for managed migration.

Many thanks to the Rightsnet website for welfare rights workers for flagging this up.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Bob · 1 days ago
    I was told by a reliable source about the above migration of ESA claimants is the following. So far groups have been split into four groups.  ESA income based without HB work group. Then ESA claimants with HB work related.   Leaving the support group without HB:  then support group with HB.   Don't know which ones they will choose first.  But they will probably give us more details in June/July.  It's ambitious to assume that by end of 2025 everyone will have had been notified.   Nothing in concrete yet.   But can see why people are scared.   
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      MrFibro · 6 hours ago
      @Bob Bob,

      My guess is, that the DWP will move over the claimants who get the highest benefits first.  That way they will save multiple millions for starters.  Then continue with the next highest benefit claimants and so on.

      I may be wrong but the DWP don't like giving out money, so if they can migrate claimants, as in meaning to save money, then they will do that.

      I feel sorry for the younger generation who unfortunately will have to spend most if not all of their working lives, jumping through hoops to get a crust, or crumbs, just to stay alive.

      The Tories have turned Britain into a sinking ship, the only ones who can swim or get in a lifeboat is the likes of sunak & his cronies.

      Incidentally Sunak is worth over 600 odd million quid + counting ££££.  No wonder he's in total denial.  Be glad when this Tory rat get booted out of No 10.  Not that it will make the slightest difference to him and all the other corrupt Tory clowns.
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      notsoeasy · 22 hours ago
      @Bob It will be interesting to see in the coming months if there are any figures published revealing whether dwp is reaching its targets moving the various groups of claimants. Many tax credits claimants appear not to have migrated, but that might not be the case with other groups, who have no employment income, and/or need housing support. If more people actually engage with the migration process that will surely slow things down.
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      Rainbow · 1 days ago
      @Bob They never have made their own deadlines once. The majority of benefit moves are/were anything between 3 and years and a decade late. This one won't be any different. They're going to come seriously backlogged and regretful about all these "wonderful ideas" 
       

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    PP · 1 days ago
    Does anyone know that 2 of the petitions that are going around have already passed the 100k needed for debate in parliament, and so will the debate stop this from happening??? We're are now desperate to put a stop to this happening so basically we're now clutching at straws to stop this.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 6 hours ago
      @Rainbow Rainbow the Tories have over or nigh on 7 months to get as much stuff through law changes as they can.  The are bottleless to call a GE.  So they will simply drag it out almost until their parliamentary term is up.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 6 hours ago
      @PP PP,  I wouldn't hold your breath about a debate.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rainbow · 1 days ago
      @MrFibro It's very unlikely any of it will get through law changes in time to beat the GE deadline. It's just mainly nasty hot air.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 1 days ago
      @PP The Tories are too bottleless to call a GE,  so their strategy is to cause as much mayhem and pain, suffering, and misery towards claimants as possibly.  Thus by introducing and implementing such draconian measures / reforms to the benefits system. So this Tory Etonian government will drag it out til Jan 2025 SHORT OF THE PARLIAMENT TERM ENDING.  By then their flagship reforms would had been already anchors away.  Meaning millions will suffer due to their arrogance & denial of reality.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rainbow · 1 days ago
      @PP It will certainly upset and hinder them
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    Yankee · 1 days ago
    I am IR ESA Support Group PIP high rates for both. Just a question can someone tell me if they stop my benefits, or say won’t give me benefits unless I have uc work coach. What would happen if I said not doing it, so they would stop benefits but can they send me letters. 

    Would they still want to pester me? Or because say I cut off contact with them I wouldn’t hear from them. I hope I have explained what I mean.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Yankee · 1 days ago
      @Anon I wouldn’t I would be on streets 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Anon · 1 days ago
      @Yankee Think very carefully about ignoring them. If you don't engage with them regarding your ESA and Pip and they stop your benefits, what will you live on?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Aw · 1 days ago
      @Yankee I am in a similar situation, every time I've had to have anything to do with the DWP for my reassessments it's months of distress, months of wasted therapy time, months of recovery once it's completed. I have had a few problems with needing home visits etc but generally it's been straightforward and yet I still find the whole process extremely triggering and it makes my MH relapse in a very dangerous way. The prospect of them trying to get me to be in regular contact with them fills me with absolute terror. I simply won't cope with it because I'll never be able to get away from them. They simply don't seem to understand that there are many people with severe MH who are unable to deal with them yet don't wish to have an appointee or don't have anyone who could act on their behalf. I have no-one to help, no friends or family who could help me with my claim and the meagre advice services in this country are in no way adequate or even designed to act for people too distressed to deal with Work Coach demands. The whole system is ripe for complete failure, and we'll be the ones who suffer.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 1 days ago
      @The dogmother. Just read it thanks for the link.
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      lesley · 1 days ago
      @The dogmother. Thanks.  I did post a link on this site about the holocaust when disabled people were murdered by the nazis but rightly so it may have been too alarming to post.  I did not see it posted on here.  It is looking more and more as though the government just wants us all to disappear.
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    T · 2 days ago
    I don't know if my comment will show up this time ?? 
      I'm feeling overwhelmed right now and the worry is really raking its toll on my mental health. 
       I'm can't leave my home to go to anywhere, it'll be impossible for me to go to the job centre,,, also due to many mental health illnesses I can't deal with people I'm don't feel safe with in my home, there is literally 3 family members I can be around...   
        How can I possibly get into universal credit when I can not sign claimant commitment and can not prove identity???? 
      I feel so lost right now and I can only see suicide as my only outcome, I'm due to see psychiatrist but I can't see how he can help me with this..    
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      Anon · 2 days ago
      @T My son is in a similar boat he has numerous conditions both.mental and physical. He has autism, learning ossues amongst those and does not socialise with anyone he hasn't known years, he doesn't speak on the phone and won't have strangers in our home.

      I'm his appointee so that will deal with the claimant commitment as their own website state it must be waived and no sanctions given.

      Not quite sure how the Id thing will work as the above means he won't go anywhere near an unfamiliar person or building or respond or even understand.

      So probably will have to not bother claiming.



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    JCI · 2 days ago
    from a  bygone era the  bishop of bath has a lot to answer for his methods being adopted by the  present administration on certain disadvantaged folk, red hot poker, months b4 a election.
    it is wholly wrong what they are doing.

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    Carol K · 2 days ago
    When you're small and vulnerable you're an easy target and we are the easiest targets for the Tories to bully. Rupert Murdoch doesn't want him and his cronies being chased for unpaid taxes, nor for it to be headlines in his newspapers. We are newspaper fodder, our lives and experiences are irrelevant to most people, they just want to hear unemployment is down and people aren't living on benefits. It's cruel and heartless but the only thing that matters to the Tories are votes and good headlines and they'll do just about anything to achieve that. 
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    colcs · 3 days ago
    I think that people who claim esa income related and are in the support group should automatically be migrated over .The prime minister is also stating that many  people migrating over to universal credit (uc) from esa legacy benefits will be better off by over £100 per month and that statement is totally nonsense because in fact even if you are placed into the support group of universal credit you will be over £200 a month worse off so i am not sure where this prime minister gets his figures from .Universal credit does not pay the disability elements like the legacy benefit of esa in the support group .

    This government is also training the work coaches at these job centres to assess claimants to see if they are fit for work ,which is shocking .
    This is another major worry for us all who already have health issues and this just escalates it for everyone .
     
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 2 days ago
      @Sara YEP,I knew that. I know exactly what I'll lose out on.
      It's already been calculated for me ages back. 
      Makes you wonder as years go on prices rise and rise, just how much will we be left to live on.  
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sara · 2 days ago
      @colcs Transitional Protection is supposed to maintain the same level of payment for you if you lose disability premiums. However TP will be eroded as UC goes up, so in real terms esa support group will become worse off.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sara · 2 days ago
      @colcs My whole reply to coics should be:

      The official line is that there will be compensation for the disability premiums via "transitional protection" but there is still cause for concern, because the transitional protection will be eroded incrementally as any increases to UC will be subtracted from it.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sara · 2 days ago
      @colcs The official line is that there will be compensation for the  there is still cause for concern, because the transitional protection will be eroded incrementally as any increases to UC will be subtracted from it.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 2 days ago
      @colcs colcs he makes it up as he goes along. My sis in law worked ot out for me months ago how much I'll lose on it. 
      Tbh the loss of income is one thing,bad as it is and I'm not playing it down,but all this making us claim instead of it being automatic is driving me insane.
      They are out to cut the benefits bill by any means necessary and WE are it!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    The dogmother. · 3 days ago
    More sleepless nights of worry,more waking up five-six times in the night with my first thoughts being this fresh hell.
    It's like the bottom keeps dropping out of your world each time the thoughts rear their ugly head.
    All this is doing is playing with our Mental health, you know,the same MH  that's meaningless to our government, the one that's irrelevant to our suffering.
    Well I think it's high time they realised it's all relevant and adds to our physical health problems too.
    I definitely haven't felt good in lots of ways since I heard about all this, mean even my better days have totally disappeared. I so wish they didn't treat us all like wasters.
    We can't help how we are.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      lesley · 1 days ago
      @Old mother Thank you Old mother
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 2 days ago
      @Ssdie T @Sadie T I keep trying to tell myself that, it helps to see it written down here as you have done.
      I hope you are correct.
      I do think the pip  changes are pie in the sky for sure. I'm hoping the esa-uc is dragged out until at least 2028. 
      Thank you. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 2 days ago
      @lesley lesley I can assure you I feel your loss and heart felt sadness.
      No one deserves such a devastating loss.Its beyond words.
      Life really is cruel in so many  ways.
      All we can do is try to bolster each other. I hope we get some light at the end of the tunnel.
      It's far too easy to look down on those of us they judge beneath them.
      No one is beneath anyone. We are all equal even if it doesn't feel like that. 
      People say, "we are all in the same boat." I don't think that's true , but we are definitely all in the same storm.
      Life is hard enough without a constant battle to have enough to live on while trying to stay well.
      Best wishes to you. X

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      Old mother · 2 days ago
      @lesley Im very sorry to hear this - there are no words for this loss. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      lesley · 2 days ago
      @The dogmother.
      Thanks for those lovely words The dogmother. They are a comfort to me.
      Glad that I have this forum because not many people who are not on these "benefits/payments/financial assistance/disability extra costs" (excuse me if I use the wrong term) understand how reliant we are on them and do not have a lot of sympathy for us.
      If they only knew!
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    robbie · 4 days ago
    Support Group should be automatically migrated. Government want it, they should do it. All the more reason for it to be automatic if nothing changes, which also begs the question, why do it?
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      Aw · 2 days ago
      @robbie Exactly, leave me the hell alone and I promise to notify if I have a COC. It's surely a lot cheaper in the long run to not put us in the clutches of Work Coaches. I am also livid that they expect us to do all the legwork, even if we struggle to do it. The only part they will do it seems, is cut you off if you don't manage to complete to the process by their deadline. Typical.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 2 days ago
      @robbie @robbie Said this all along,but it seems they want to put us through as much as they can as yet another punishment. 
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      Anon · 3 days ago
      @robbie The government are looking at only applying LCWRA ( support group) to those in receipt of the daily living component of PIP. If they are looking at getting as many people off PIP as possible; it will probably mean lots of people will no longer qualify for the LCWRA group.
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    The Dog Mother · 5 days ago
    With each passing day I'm more and more consumed with fear and dread over these proposals.
    Esp,for now, the forced migration from Esa to UC. The whole process has me terrified.
    I honestly don't know which way to turn for the best. I can find no way round it other than go through the changeover or don't. If I don't and I lose pip, if these other changes come in,as it's damn hard enough to get now, I couldn't even live on it as I get low rate both components.  
    Grateful as I am for it. But if that stopped too I'd be in stuck.Id have nothing to survive on. Like a lot of you on here. It really is panic stations. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Aw · 2 days ago
      @The Dog Mother Same. The issue before has always been the stress trying to get the money we are entitled to. What they're talking about for the future is just removing the entitlement to that money whether they believe you or not. I can't survive on basic UC, or even LCWRA without PIP. I won't be the only one I'm sure. In theory I could survive homeless or live in a shelter or my daughter's spare room. Am I going to choose to live like that at 53? No, no I'm not.
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      Bob · 5 days ago
      @The Dog Mother It has people scared the whole process is stressful I don't have internet access at home so would need help with applying online maybe need to contact citizens advice.  Also people have told me that have already switched that it was a good six weeks before they sorted it. What do u live on in the meantime.  And if you are already in ESA support group do u have to have another dreaded assessment. 
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      M shirker · 5 days ago
      @The Dog Mother @Don’t worry I feel the same too its the weeks of no money the looming threat of sanctions the bullying work coach being monitored all the time just horrible although their is 800,000 people to get threw so it might not be until this time next year anyway I will probably stay on the lcwra as long as I can but in the end going to be forced into work at some point in the future I will just do 18 hours and by the time I do I will be late 50s anyway 
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    A · 6 days ago
    Can we please list the disadvantages of migrating to UC?

    To me, the major one is having to do with a work coach. Even when you're in Support Group/LCWRA, they still annoy you, keep calling you, to check whether you're not abroad, or want to work, and ask you to meet with them periodically. In addition, since they're in charge of your case, as soon as you've reached the proposed time for you to have a reassessment, they'll contact to you and ask you to look for work, or get a sicknote and fill in ESA50 form, while when you're on ESA, time drags and you could be contacted for a reassessment years after the proposed time has elapsed, as no particular person is in charge of your file.
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      agmlfc72 · 4 days ago
      @Pete I may have shown them my Birth certificate too as I took that with me as well.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      agmlfc72 · 4 days ago
      @Pete It isn't. I am in the LCWRA group and I voluntarily migrated in December 2022 (I was in IR-ESA Support Group) for the extra £100 a month and apart from an initial 5 minute interview at the Jobcentre about 10 days after applying to show them ID (Debit Card and previous recent letters from THEM to do with my old ESA claim) they have never hauled me in for a work focused interview.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The dogmother. · 5 days ago
      @Pete Thanks for that. Makes me feel a bit better.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Pete · 5 days ago
      @A In fact I actually know somoene in that group that has basically been treated like they were in the support group for ESA. 

      When they were asked to migrate, the DWP actually made a point of telling them nothing would change. Although granted I wouldn't trust he DWP
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Pete · 5 days ago
      @A I didn't think it was like that for those in the LCWRA group?
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    wibblum · 7 days ago
    In preparation for this 'great adventure' I've done some research on my local Jobcentre (which has moved location since I last visited it). It's now in a building on a raised plaza with the only access to it being a long flight of steps. It's almost hilarious.

    I wonder if they'll let me off attending my work-focused interviews due to the fact that they effectively have no disabled access? 
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    Richard · 7 days ago
    Currently I pay ALL of my enhanced PIP for both mobility and personal care to employ a Personal assistant for 10-12 hours per week I have both severe mental ill health and multiple physical disabilities.
    I did pass Islington council's FACE assessment on several occasions,  but it actually worked out more expensive than employing my own PA. Also, they didn't even read the risk assessment that stated I have an ESA (Emotional support animal- a tiny French bulldog) the carer they sent couldn't work out how to do my budgeting, refused to enter my flat due to the dog,  and refused to take me shopping   The council even stated eventually that they only sub-contract for generic elderly care assistants which is unhelpful as I am 58 and don't require my bottom wiping.  The council then refunded me over £3000 for 3 months of this.

    My current PA is a 3rd year student nurse and gives a higher standard for everything I require,  her salary goes towards paying her high rent here in London for her and her husband.  If the changes to PIP occur I do not know what I will do. Often I even pay her overtime out of my Support group ESA. I do hope Labour get into power before these changes as it can't make the situation any worse.  Even the Clown Ian Duncan Smith resigned as DWP Secretary of State years back because he saw what the Tory changes were doing to long-term sick and disabled people. 
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