DWP announces new Universal Credit roll out plans – thousands could be worse-off

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Universal Credit: Expert discusses benefits of claiming

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Thousands of people who depend on legacy benefits such as tax credits and Jobseeker’s Allowance will be transferred to Universal Credit this spring.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that it’s about to restart the transfer of claimants, which came to a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it’s important to be aware that payments will be affected.

The DWP has launched a new section on the Universal Credit website for Tax Credit customers explaining the difference between the benefits.

It also has a handy benefits calculator so people can see the difference for themselves.

On the Government website it states: “The six benefits being replaced all have complex and inefficient systems based on ageing, inflexible IT.

“Universal Credit uses a modern, digital system which stood up to the test of Covid-19 where it quickly ensured three million new claimants were protected from the financial impact of the pandemic.”

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Universal Credit was brought in in 2013 to streamline the benefits process but it could mean that thousands of people could end up worse off.

The DWP said there will be additional support available for those in need, including the Household Support Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said: “Over five million people are already supported by Universal Credit.

“It is a dynamic system which adjusts as people earn more or indeed less, and simplifies our safety net for those who cannot work.”

She continued: “Parliament voted to end the complex web of six legacy benefits in 2012, and as this work approaches its conclusion we are fully transitioning to a modern benefit, suited to the 21st century.

“Although notifications will be gradually sent out across the country, people who are currently claiming legacy benefits do not have to wait to be moved to Universal Credit.

“Anyone who thinks they will be better off can move straight away.

“Claimants can check their entitlement for Universal Credit using an independent benefits calculator.”

More information can be found at Gov.uk.

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However, people who are unsure whether they would be better off should wait to be moved.

Claimants moving to Universal Credit will receive a two-week run-on of their Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance.

Those moving from Housing Benefit will receive a two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment.

More information can be found at Gov.uk

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