The DWP have announced this month that the first claimants being forced to transfer from legacy benefits to universal credit (UC) via the managed migration process will be given an extra month in which to transfer.
Initially, when the news was released that the first 500 claimants were to be moved, a time limit of three months to make a claim or have your benefits stopped was given.
However, Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions has now said that claimants in the ‘initial phase of discovery’ will be given an additional month in which to make a claim.
Coffey told the commons work and pensions committee:
“For the first groups of claimants in this initial phase of discovery, I have decided the department
will not terminate any benefits if the claimant fails to claim within the three-month period given.
Instead, if these claimants have failed to engage with the department, DWP will make a minimum
of a 1-month extension to the deadline outlined in their notice. In this time, we will undertake
proactive engagement with the claimant to understand why they have not claimed.
“It is important to remember that the discovery phase is a learning process, and our clear priority is to maximise the number of claimants completing their claim. We do of course recognise that not all
claimants may want to claim Universal Credit and others will need support to do so.”
Although Coffey refers to the “first groups of claimants in this initial phase of discovery”, no clear definition of who this includes is given.
It seems likely that it will include the initial 500 claimants in Bolton and Medway, but may not extend beyond them.