Charities including Mind, The Trussell Trust, Shelter and Disability Rights UK have written to Therese Coffey, secretary of state for the DWP, to ask her to pause the forced migration from legacy benefits such as ESA to universal credit.  One charity has warned that the managed migration process is too dangerous to continue.

The DWP began piloting managed migration with 500 claimants today, having recently admitted that half a million income-related ESA claimants will be worse off as a result of the move.  Once the pilot is over the forced move of 2.6 million claimants is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024

In their letter the charities say:

“We believe that your approach for moving people receiving older benefits on to universal credit risks pushing many of them into destitution.

 “We ask you to consider the devastating consequences for someone who faces challenges in engaging with the process having their only income cut off, especially during this cost-of-living crisis. No one subject to managed migration should have their existing benefit stopped until they have established a claim to universal credit. Instead of setting arbitrary deadlines, the DWP needs to take responsibility for ensuring people’s safety.”

 The charities point out that according to the DWP’s own research 24% of claimants with long-term health conditions were unable to register a UC claim online. 

Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive told the Guardian:

 “Those too unwell to engage with the DWP could be left unable to pay their rent, buy food, or pay their rising energy bills. This is completely unacceptable.

 “Mind – and many other charities representing people affected by health problems and poverty – is willing and able to help shape the managed migration process into one which is fit for purpose and which does not risk the financial security of hundreds of thousands of people. But as things stand, the managed migration process is too dangerous to continue.”

Sara Ogilvie, director of policy at the Child Poverty Action Group told the Guardian:

 “The department must commit to fully trialling and publicly reporting on the managed migration process and it must ensure that no one loses their existing benefits until they have a new claim for universal credit securely established.”

 In comments in response to the letter the DWP gave no indication that they intend to soften their stance on the forced move.

You can read the full story in the Guardian.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Angela · 2 months ago
    I have a mental disability which affects my every day activities. The mere thought of being moved to UC  is terrifying .  I worry every single day about it and it has made my mental condition so much worse. The worry and stress has now caused me to have high blood pressure on top of high cholesterol. I cant comprehend why this is happening as it is  too much for me to cope with. Why are the government torturing  the disabled and very sick people. Somebody has to challenge this human unfairness. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Estelle · 2 months ago
    I know this may be an unpopular opinion but I am seriously worried that too many people may be being driven to a state of unnecessary fear about universal credit which is going to be harming not helping them.

    Sometimes hearing nothing but warnings and bad things about something is what causes the stress, because people are ramped up for it to be horrible and so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I moved from ESA WRA group 4 years ago and the amount I was receiving did not change from ESA & HB to UC.  I was then moved to the support group (now limited capability for work or work-related activity) and the increase was the same as it would have been on ESA

    My experience with UC has been almost entirely positive and it has actually benefitted my health because it is flexible in a way the legacy benefits were not.  Yes I have a chronic illness, and yes I spend a fair amount of time unable to do anything -but the times when I can do stuff I do not have to worry that if I do do stuff it is going to screw up my benefits as it used to on legacy benefits.  On legacy benefits, I felt useless and finished.  On UC I don't.

    I know there are problems and some injustices and these do need to be fought, however, it is important to remember that there are also huge benefits and many people are going to be better from it.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      lesley · 2 months ago
      @Mary O’Sullivan Thank you Mary, I thought it did not seem right.  Did a bit more research and found this on the Age UK website under changes to Pension Credit:
      "As Housing Benefit is being abolished, Pension Credit will include a new housing credit to help towards rent.  This may not happen until 2023 at the earliest"
      Let us hope it all goes smoothly.  Still a cause for anxiety.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mary O’Sullivan · 2 months ago
      @Estelle Pensioners will not move to Universal Credit. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    lesley · 2 months ago
    I am not sure that I understand about Universal Credit.  I am a pensioner of 74 years, I shall be 75 this year.
    I read this:

    If you already get other benefits

    Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

    Child Tax Credit
    Housing Benefit
    Income Support
    income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    Working Tax Credit

    I claim housing benefit.  Does that mean I shall have to claim Universal Credit?
    Appreciate any clarity on this matter.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lynn · 2 months ago
    My son was moved 3 years ago and lost out . He was given a transitional payment to make up fir the loss (not all if it) now they have reduced that from £116 to £72 saying he is being paid more UC ? The extra Uc is £22 he’s still worse off ? 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Aw · 3 months ago
    Can you point out to the Guardian writers that half a million of us will be worse off? I see they allowed the DWP to lie unchecked in that last paragraph, or at least they lied by omission... as per usual.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Estelle · 2 months ago
      @MrFibro I assure you this is not the case MrFibro.  On UC I was moved from WRA to support with the increase in money, and I absolutely am not considered fit for work again.  I have found things much much easier on UC - I have been treated as an individual, not just another clone to be boxed and filed.  I have found the support on UC greater than that on ESA or income support.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 3 months ago
      @Aw Hi Aw,

      I read a news article it was going to be 900,000 claimants, who will be worse off !

      Their analyst admitted to that.

      More likely in practical terms 2 million.

      Once on UCA we will be seen or classed as unemployed hence fit for work again.  You just couldn't make it up lol.

      regards




  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    MariW · 3 months ago
    HI, I am struggling to make sense of the managed migration process at what is already a very difficult time. My posts on the forum are not showing up unfortunately. I claim IR ESA. I’m in the Support Group with Severe Disability Premium. When I migrate, will my current ESA entitlement (less SDP + Transitional Protection) be absorbed into UC or will I be expected to fill in a UC50 and go through the WCA process? 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Estelle · 2 months ago
      @GorillaWheels When I transferred from ESA to UC four years ago my WCA was transferred and I did not have another one until it was due on ESA anyway - and then it moved me from WRA to Support (different name on UC its limited capability for work or work-related activity).  I have found UC to be much easier than the old benefits - and my money has not dropped.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 3 months ago
      @GorillaWheels Hi Dave,

      I wouldn't hold your breath mate, the government are perpetual liars, and do U-turns at the flick of a switch.

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      GorillaWheels · 3 months ago
      @Aw "You will not have to undertake a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) again when you move to Universal Credit if all of the following apply:

      you’ve been receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
      you’ve already completed a WCA
      you’ve been assessed whilst claiming ESA
      If your WCA is due for a review, you will need to have another assessment. Your review date for WCA will remain the same after you claim Universal Credit."

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tax-credits-and-some-benefits-are-ending-claim-universal-credit/tax-credits-and-some-benefits-are-ending-claim-universal-credit
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Aw · 3 months ago
      @GorillaWheels I bet we will...
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      GorillaWheels · 3 months ago
      @MariW If this helps, mind website says:

      Will I have to go through another Work Capability Assessment?

      The Government have said that if you are in the Support Group or the Work-Related Activity Group on ESA then this will be carried over into your Universal Credit claim and you won't need to go through an extra Work Capability Assessment.

      https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/campaigns/benefits/where-you-can-find-help/moving-from-esa-to-universal-credit-faqs/

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