Claimants who receive employment and support allowance (ESA) with child tax credits will receive mandatory migration notices to move to universal credit between July and September 2024, the DWP has announced.

The DWP will have issued half a million migration notices to tax credits only claimants by April 2024.

It will then move on to issuing migration notices to income support claimants in April to June 2024, ESA with child tax credits from July to September and JSA claimants in September.  From April 2024 claimants who receive tax credits with housing benefit will also begin to be migrated, followed by housing benefit only claimants.

The news is concerning because, as we reported in November, almost one in seven claimants had their legacy benefits claims closed and did not complete a claim for UC, potentially losing hundreds of pounds a month, according to the DWP’s own statistics. 

The DWP have offered no explanation for this, but claimants being unable to cope with the complexities of a UC claim seems to be a likely reason in many cases.

More worrying still, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) report that by the end of August 2023 a shocking 27% of legacy benefits claimants subject to managed migration had not claimed UC but had their legacy benefit claim terminated.  This is a non-move rate of 27% for claimants who were previously receiving an average of £300 a month through tax credits.

CPAG say that their research shows that “claimants did not have the information they needed or wanted to understand how moving to UC would affect them. Such misinformation and misunderstanding are likely to be reasons some people are not moving to UC despite having a strong financial incentive to do so.”

You can read the full CPAG briefing here.

Members can download our 22 page guide to ESA to UC migration from the ESA & UC guides page.  We will have a more detailed migration guide available in the Spring to help affected members prepare for migration notices arriving next Summer.

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    allie · 2 days ago
    A large number who are letting their legacy benefits stop wthout claiming UC are disabled and long term ill. There are awful stories out there about how the DWP treat us and so many of us left on legacy have not claimed ESA or UC because we fear the system and how we will be treated. There are a large number of disabled people in these last groups to be migrated and many of us will end up not submitting a claim and being consderably worse off.
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    Vi · 1 months ago
    I migrated over to UC from CTC, my payments were £157 per week and have now dropped to £168 per month. This has dramatically impacted our situation. 
    As far as I understood, there is a transitional protection, but UC have said that isn't the case. 
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    mark · 1 months ago
    I'm on CTC , new style ESA and PIP. changing to UC too complicated as our other modest annual  income. Monthly figure fluctuates wildly  meaning monthly period can be 2k one month and negative the next.
    can't cope with how to claim in our circumstances  so looks like we will have to manage without the UC.
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    Dee · 2 months ago
    If the only way the DWP contact you to let you know you are to be forced onto UC is by a letter in the post then this could be why people are not applying for UC, letters lost in post. I would hope they text you too, but wouldn't hold my breath.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      none · 1 months ago
      @Dee Exactly. Over xmas tons of mail gets lost or late. I a terrified i may miss the migration letter and suddenly find myself destitute, disabled, homeless with a disabled child. Feel like living is too hard 
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    plinth · 2 months ago
    I would suggest that most people on means tested benefits are unlikely to go over the capital limit, but what is that limit please? And secondly, what are the top 15 banks please? Barclays, the Coop, Natwest, Nationwide, HSBC, Halifax, Virgin, and who else? I would be grateful for this information. 
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    Mark · 2 months ago
    Is this only income based esa? 
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    clearwater · 2 months ago
    Re- above the ESA forced migration to UC in 2024,    

    Roughly when could someone receiving  HB & CTC + ( PiP DL & Mob) + iR ESA  expected to be moved?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Fionn · 2 months ago
      @clearwater I don't know, but I'm in an identical situation. I reach state pension age in a little over a year, so I've been hoping they leave me out of it; I bet they make me go through the whole palaver about three months before I finally escape, though!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Aw · 2 months ago
    What concerns me about forced migration is there seems no way to apply without having to either go to the jobcentre or fight for the right for a phone call, however I can do neither of those things. There are no disability support charities here anymore after the last one closed during covid and I don't have friends or family that can help. I have been just about managing my ESA claim by post for the last 10 years as all my assessments have been paper based. What will I do? There seems to be no contingency for people like me.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      AndyP · 1 months ago
      @Aw Contact your county council, they should have welfare benefits advisors that work through the social services dept.. they can help navigate you through the migration process. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      none · 1 months ago
      @Aw Yes, this is my terror. If i am in a flare i am bed bound and often cannot cope with getting a disabled child into school depending on their unpredictable condition. This is extra upsetting  as I am a lone disabled parent. What will happen if you cant make the apt? Will they kill off your application especially terrifying if its legacy situation and the losses are huge on UC. Im struggling with basics of multiple hospital apt, daily management for 3 lifelong medical issues one of which is life threatening and now have the hell of  Sanction or delete? There is ZERO thought for the disabled in all this. Zero. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      paintingthetownred · 2 months ago
      @Aw that is how it was for me, I found it really difficult to go in with panic attacks etc. but the intial check is quite short at least.

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      paintingthetownred · 2 months ago
      @Aw I don't know if it is of any use to you, Aw, but the Citizens Advice have a UC new claims helpline which I used when first signing up for UC. They were good actually and I was slow - although you don't say if you have the internet?

      The main things to watch out for were:
      If applying online - take careful notes and keep password i.d etc in safe place as if you lose them they are really difficult to retrieve again.

      Be aware you will need to do the whole form online at one sitting, you can't save it - so have all the stuff ready that they list i.e. NI number etc.

      After you have got it set up online it is not too bad to check it once a day before 5 p.m in case there are any messages in your journal. Aside that is from the rest of the shenanigans the DWP is up to...

      good luck

      Their phone number is - England 0800 144 8444
      Scotland - 0800 023 2581
      Wales - 09000 241 220

      can help
      work out if you are entitled
      fill in application
      prepare for first Job Centre Appointment
      check your first payment is correct
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Aw · 2 months ago
      @clearwater It's my understanding that the application process is online, but the initial compliance interview is at the jobcentre and in rare cases can be done over the phone, but you still have to take your identification to the jobcentre to confirm your identity. So many people are not going to be able to successfully migrate unless they address this.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    clearwater · 2 months ago
    Is the ir ESA to UC migration all online nowdays,   are you sent a notice form in the post and then make a claim for UC on another claim form ( i presume) ?
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    tom · 2 months ago
    Maybe  some  of those  claimant s did not have a  SMART  phone   or   Internet/   computer  ?  The  DWP seems  to  assume  everyone  has these.,  but  if you  are  say  only on  JSA    it's  not  affordable.  a SMART phone  would  require  a monthly rental  agreement. and  Home internet would incur telephone  line  installation costs   if   the property didn't have  a  serviceable  telephone line.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Janette whitelaw · 1 months ago
      @tom You can get social tarriiff with bt and sky there are many Differant ones I got highest fibre. Optic phone line broadband through pension credit you  can also just get broadband only I was £58.00 a month for same deal on social tariff £20.00 a month universal credit claimants get it that’s with bt sky to does it I. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 2 months ago
      @tom Hi Tom,

      I agree, but the DWP would or will argue that claimants can go to a free public library, and do online form claiming.

      Or they could argue they could had gone gone to friends or families who also have connections / internet etc.

      It's all about the DWP saving taxpayers monies so they say.


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