As Universal Credit replaces some benefits across the UK, claimants may be interested in learning about the impact of this transition on their current benefits. This is why we aim to answer the question “Will my benefits stop if I claim Universal Credit” through this blog post. We will discuss the impact of Universal Credit on legacy benefits, the transition process, the impact of this transition on your benefits as well as possible financial support for claimants during this time.
Will My Benefits Stop If I Claim Universal Credit?
Yes, some of your benefits will stop if you claim Universal Credit. For instance, if you have been claiming Housing Benefit, your payments will stop two weeks after you apply for Universal Credit. The same will happen if you have been receiving payments for the following benefits before claiming Universal Credit:
- income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
If you have been claiming Tax-Free Childcare, your payments will also stop two weeks after you apply for Universal Credit.
It may be worth noting here that if a claimant has overpaid tax credits during their transition to Universal Credit they will be required to pay back the excess amount to the authorities.
The reason why some of the benefits that one has been claiming before applying for Universal Credit will stop once one files a claim is that the UK government plans to “top up” Universal Credit with money from these other benefits.
As you may be aware, Universal Credit is replacing six existing benefits, which include the following:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
The transition from these benefits started in 2020 and is expected to be completed by 2024. If you are a UK citizen who is under State Pension age, you will not be able to file a new claim for any of these benefits and will be asked to apply for Universal Credit.
One of the key changes that Universal Credit will bring is that it will stop most people from receiving welfare benefits if they’re also claiming Universal Credit.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you’re pregnant or have young children, you’ll still be able to receive some benefits.
If you’re not sure whether you’ll be affected by this change, the best thing to do is speak to your local Jobcentre Plus office. They’ll be able to give you more information about how Universal Credit will affect your benefits.
You can also access your sign-in to your Universal Credit account or call the Universal Credit helpline at 0800 328 5644, between 8 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday.
What Will Happen To My Benefits Claim If I Move To Universal Credit?
What happens to other benefits that you claim while you move to Universal Credit will depend on whether or not those are legacy benefits that are being replaced with Universal Credit.
If you are currently claiming any of these benefits, you will eventually be moved over to Universal Credit. The process of moving over is called ‘managed migration’.
When you move to Universal Credit, your benefits will be calculated differently. The amount you get will depend on your circumstances, but your benefits will likely either stay the same or go up.
If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit, your housing costs will be included in your Universal Credit payment. This could either increase or decrease the amount of Universal Credit you receive, depending on your circumstances.
If you are currently claiming Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Working Tax Credit, you will be moved onto Universal Credit at a rate that is equal to or higher than your current benefits. This is because Universal Credit is designed to make sure that nobody is worse off when they are moved over.
If you want to move to Universal Credit before you are moved over automatically, you can do so by contacting your local Jobcentre Plus office. You can also call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Will My Benefits Payments Increase When I Move To Universal Credit?
Yes, in some cases benefits payments will increase for claimants who were either claiming other means-tested benefits along with Universal Credit or are transitioning from the legacy benefits to Universal Credit.
Some types of claimants might see a higher entitlement under Universal Credit (UC), including those in the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Support Group who are not receiving the Severe Disability Premium. In-work households that are only receiving Housing Benefit or Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit may also see higher entitlements under UC, as the earnings taper rules are more generous.
People who do not work enough hours to receive Working Tax Credit may also see a higher entitlement under UC. Additionally, households that are not currently claiming all the legacy benefits they are entitled to may also be eligible for a higher entitlement under UC.
However, some types of claimants might see a lower entitlement under UC (and therefore may be eligible for transitional protection if they are moved through the managed migration process). This includes those who are not at work, or who work fewer hours than required to qualify for Working Tax Credit.
How Can I Get Help In Moving To Universal Credit?
You can get help in moving to Universal Credit by applying for a transition to the benefit if Universal Credit has replaced legacy benefits in your area. You may want to first check if you will be financially better by doing so voluntarily using an online Benefits Calculator.
The UK government has been gradually moving people from the “legacy” benefits system onto Universal Credit. This process is known as “managed migration”.
Managed migration is when the government moves people from certain benefits onto Universal Credit. This is happening gradually, and people are being moved in a planned and controlled way.
The government has set up a special team to help people who are moving onto Universal Credit. This team is called the Managed Migration Information Service (MMIS).
The MMIS can help you with things like:
- finding out if you’re eligible for managed migration
- applying for managed migration
- understanding what will happen when you’re moved to Universal Credit
The MMIS is free to use, and you can contact them by phone at 0800 169 0328.
If you’re eligible for managed migration, you’ll be given a date when you’ll be moved onto Universal Credit. You’ll be given at least 4 weeks’ notice of this date.
Can I Get Financial Support While Moving From Other Benefits To Universal Credit?
Yes, you can get financial support while moving from other benefits to Universal Credit. The United Kingdom has a number of financial support options available for those who are moving from the legacy benefits system to Universal Credit. The government has committed to ensuring that no one is worse off as a result of the transition to Universal Credit, and there are a number of financial support options available to help with the transition.
The Government has set up a transitional protection fund to help with the costs of moving to Universal Credit. This transitional amount is based on your current benefits and is paid for a limited time.
The fund is available to claimants who are receiving certain benefits, and who are moving to Universal Credit and is intended to help with the costs of the move, as well as to ensure that claimants are not worse off as a result of the transition.
The Government has also set up a hardship fund to help claimants who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the transition to Universal Credit. The hardship fund is available to claimants who are in receipt of certain benefits, and who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the transition.
If you do not have sufficient funds to live by while you are waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for the following through your local council office or Jobcentre Plus office:
- Contingency Fund
- Budgeting Advance Loan
- Universal Credit Advance Payment
- Discretionary Fund
You may also be eligible for other types of financial support while you’re moving to Universal Credit. This includes help with:
- your rent
- housing costs
- costs of moving to a new address
- your Council Tax
- getting a job
- the costs of childcare
Who Can Claim Transitional Protection While Moving To Universal Credit?
Individuals who can claim transitional protection while moving to Universal Credit are the types of claimants who might see a lower entitlement under Universal Credit and are moved through the managed migration process. These include:
- Households in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are claiming the Severe Disability Premium and Enhanced Disability Premium
- Households with the lower disabled child addition on legacy benefits
- Self-employed households who are subject to the Minimum Income Floor, after the 12-month grace period has ended
- In-work households that worked a specific number of hours (for example, lone parent working 16 hours claiming Working Tax Credits)
- Households receiving tax credits with savings of more than £6,000 (and up to £16,000)
The discussion in this article brings us to the conclusion that certain means-tested benefits will stop when you claim Universal Credit if you are above State Pension age as they are being replaced with it. However, you may find yourself better off as a result of this transition when your benefits payments increase. In most cases, your payments will remain unaffected when Universal Credit replaces the six legacy benefits.
FAQs: Will My Benefits Stop If I Claim Universal Credit?
What benefits stop when you are claiming Universal Credit?
If you are claiming Housing Benefit, income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support, your benefits payments will stop two weeks after you file a claim to Universal Credit.
Does Universal Credit stop Housing Benefit?
Universal Credit is replacing Housing Benefit to accommodate housing costs with an added element on top of the basic rate for individuals who are on a low income. This means that while one cannot make a new claim for Housing Benefit if they are of working age, they will find financial support through the housing element of Universal Credit.
Does receiving Universal Credit affect anything?
Receiving Universal Credit may affect other means-tested benefits that you were previously claiming. It can also affect your applications for loans, mortgages or a new credit card. However, your credit score is not affected if you are claiming the benefit.
How much can DWP take from Universal Credit?
The maximum amount that the DWP can take away from your Universal Credit claim (usually to balance out any previous overpayments) is 25% of the standard allowance that you are eligible for.
Can DWP stop benefits without warning?
No, the DWP does not stop benefits without a warning. Claimants are informed regarding the end of their benefits claim with a formal letter that is sent by the DWP in advance of when their benefit payment is due.