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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Managed migration delay could hit vulnerable

In a letter to stakeholders, the Department for Communities has confirmed that the managed migration of legacy benefit claimants to Universal Credit will not now commence in July 2019. Instead, this phase of the Universal Credit programme will be deferred until 2020. The managed migration process is scheduled to complete by the end of 2023. 

Concern about natural migration and lack of protection

Under the managed migration process, claimants will be entitled to receive transitional protection  if the monetary amount received from Universal Credit is less than the amount of legacy benefits and tax credits received.  A consequence of delaying the managed migration process is that increasing numbers of claimants are likely to experience a change in circumstances which will trigger natural migration to Universal Credit. Where a benefit claimant moves over to Universal Credit from a legacy benefit due to a change in their circumstances, and is less well-off as a consequence that person is not entitled to receive any transitional protection to compensate for this reduction in entitlement.

Get advice on your options

Anyone who is concerned about moving over to Universal Credit should seek advice. If you know that you're going to be experiencing a change in your circumstances soon, and are worried that this change will trigger a move to Universal Credit, talk to an experienced welfare adviser. Housing Rights can discuss your rights and options in regards to benefits that help you pay for your home, while the Independent Welfare Changes Helpline can give you advice on other aspects of welfare benefits, such as PIP, Tax Credits, sanctions and appeals. 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform

This article was written on 8 January 2019. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.