Skip to main content
Warning triangle

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visit our coronavirus pages for the latest updates.

Migrating to Universal Credit

Claimants currently claiming the following benefits will remain on their existing benefits until such time that their claim can migrate to Universal Credit:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit 
  • Housing Benefit

These benefits will be referred to as legacy benefits.

Natural migration

This occurs when a claimant reports a natural migration qualifying change of circumstance to their legacy benefit.

Examples of natural migration include:

  • moving from in work to out of work (including claimants whose hours reduce to less than 16 hours per week - claimants may qualify for new style jobseekers allowance - contribution based)
  • moving from out of work to in work (only claimants that already have child tax credit can continue to claim tax credits - this is because it would be a change of circumstances to the child tax credit award and not a new claim to tax credits)
  • moving from Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) to out of work
  • moving from Employment and Support Allowance to in work (only claimants that already have child tax credit can continue to claim tax credits - this is because it would be a change of circumstances to the working tax credit award and not a new claim to tax credits)
  • moving from in work to being sick
  • moving from out of work to being sick
  • becoming responsible for a child for the first time (only claimants that already have working tax credit can continue to claim tax credits - this is because it would be a change of circumstances to the child tax credit award and not a new claim to tax credits)
  • existing housing benefit claimant who moves into a Universal Credit full service area (except those that move into supported accommodation or temporary accommodation where they continue to receive housing benefit)
  • a lone parent on Income Support whose award ends when their youngest child reaches 5 or leaves their household
  • existing benefit or credits claimant forms a couple with a Universal Credit claimant (they will not be able to remain on existing benefits or credits; they must make a joint Universal Credit claim with their new partner)

As Universal Credit is a household benefit, this would also trigger the closure of all legacy benefits that Universal Credit is replacing.

If any of these circumstances happen to a claimant living in a Universal Credit Full Service area then a claim for Universal Credit is made.

This list is not exhaustive. When deciding whether a claim to Universal Credit needs to be made the individual circumstances of the existing benefit claimant will be taken into account when deciding whether a move to Universal Credit is applicable.

Managed migration

The Department of Work and Pensions is planning to move most existing claimants of ‘legacy’ benefits to universal credit between July 2019 and March 2022. This is called ‘managed migration’.

Contact information

Welfare and Housing Service

Make an enquiry