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Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection

Transitional Protection tops up your Universal Credit. It is only available to certain groups.

1. What is Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection?

Transitional Protection is an extra 'transitional' amount which tops up your Universal Credit award so that you are not substantially worse off when you move onto Universal Credit.

Transitional Protection is only for some people. 

Most people who are getting Universal Credit at the moment are people who have had a change which meant they had to make a new benefit claim. These people are called 'natural migrants'. Transitional Protection is not available to them unless they were getting Severe Disability Premium at the time they claimed Universal Credit.

Transitional protection is only available to two groups of people:

  • People who are moved over to Universal Credit even though nothing has happened which makes them start a new benefit claim. These people are called 'managed migrants'. Managed migration was piloted in Harrogate from July 2019, but is currently on hold.
  • People who were getting Severe Disability Premium at the time they claimed Universal Credit.

 

2. Can I get Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection?

Transitional protection is only available to two groups of people"

  • people who are moved over to Universal Credit through the managed migration project. Managed migration was piloted in Harrogate from July 2019 but is currently on hold. 
  • people covered by the Severe Disability Premium rules.

You will be able to get Severe Disability Premium transitional protection if

You won't be able to get Severe Disability Premium transitional protection if you didn't satisfy the conditions for getting Severe Disability Premium on the first day of your Universal Credit claim.

For example, if someone starts claiming Carer's Allowance for you before you make your Universal Credit claim you would no longer meet the conditions for getting Severe Disability Premium, and so you wouldn't be able to get Severe Disability Premium transitional protection.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can identify people who were getting Severe Disability Premium on their own Income Support, income-related ESA or income-based JSA claim. The DWP cannot identify people who were part of a couple and their partner was getting Severe Disability Premium on the partner's Income Support, income-related ESA or income-based JSA claim. If this applies to you, it is important you check your Universal Credit claim and get advice.

 

3. How much Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection will I get?

 

The amount of Universal Credit transitional protection you get depends on whether you get it because

Managed migrated

How much Universal Credit transitional protection you will get will depend on what your income is from the benefits being replaced by Universal Credit.

Your transitional protection amount will top your Universal Credit up so that it matches your previous benefit income to ensure you are not worse off due to the move to Universal Credit.

The amount of transitional protection you are entitled to will go down over time. You can learn more about how it reduces on the 'How long will I get Universal Credit transitional protection' page of this guide.

Severe Disability Premium transitional protection

How much Severe Disability Premium transitional protection you are entitled to will depend on your household's circumstances when you claimed Universal Credit.

  • Single, with Limited Capability for Work Related Activity £120 per month
  • Single, without Limited Capability for Work Related Activity £285 per month
  • Couple, only one person entitled to Severe Disability Premium on legacy benefits, with Limited Capability for Work Related Activity in either partner's name £120 per month
  • Couple, only one person entitled to Severe Disability Premium on legacy benefits, without Limited Capability for Work Related Activity in either partner's name £285 per month
  • Couple, both entitled to Severe Disability Premium on legacy benefits £405 per month 

These are the amounts that will be paid when you first start getting Universal Credit. Over time, these amounts will go down. You can learn more about how it reduces on the 'How long will I get Universal Credit transitional protection' page of this guide.

4. When will my Universal Credit (UC) transitional protection end?

If you can get it, you may receive Universal Credit transitional protection until:

There are other changes which will not affect your transitional protection.

Your Universal Credit entitlement increases

If you have an increase in your Universal Credit entitlement, perhaps due to a fall in income, the birth of a child, or because of an annual increase in the rates for Universal Credit, the increase in your Universal Credit entitlement will be offset by a reduction in your transitional protection amount. This will continue until your transitional protection amount is reduced to nothing.

Increases in your childcare element won't affect your transitional protection.

Increases in any other element or becoming newly entitled to any other element will affect your transitional protection.

Example:

Jane and Dave currently receive £1100 per month from the benefits to be replaced by Universal Credit but their Universal Credit entitlement is only £1000 per month.

They are part of the managed migration onto Universal Credit, so they receive a transitional protection amount of £100 per month to top up their Universal Credit so they are not worse off.

The following April the Universal Credit rates are increased so their Universal Credit entitlement goes up to £1020 per month.

They only need a transitional protection amount of £80 now to top them up to their previous benefit income of £1100 per month.

Although their Universal Credit entitlement has gone up £20, their transitional protection amount is reduced by £20 so they still receive £1100 per month.

They won't see a rise in their income from Universal Credit until their Universal Credit entitlement becomes more than £1100 per month and their transitional protection amount reduces to nothing.

Your Universal Credit entitlement decreases to nothing

If you have a decrease in your Universal Credit entitlement, for example because of an increase in your earnings, your transitional protection amount will not be reduced straight away. This is to try to encourage people to move into work. This does not mean that it is protected from deductions for earnings. The transitional protection amount will be added to all the other elements, then the deduction for your earnings will be applied to that total amount.

If your Universal Credit amount decreases to zero because your earnings have increased but you become entitled to Universal Credit again within three months and you reclaim Universal Credit, you will still be able to get a transitional amount in your Universal Credit award.

If your Universal Credit amount decreases to zero because your earnings have increased, and you don't become entitled to Universal Credit again within three months, or you don't reclaim Universal Credit within three months, you will lose your entitlement to Universal Credit transitional protection.

Significant change of circumstance

If you have a significant change of circumstance which affects your Universal Credit claim, you will lose your transitional protection amount immediately.

These significant changes are:

  • You are claiming Universal Credit as a couple, but then split up or your partner dies
  • You are claiming as a single person but then move in with a partner or a partner moves in with you
  • Your earnings drop beneath the level expected of you in your claimant commitment (for three months in a row), and at the time you claimed Universal Credit your earnings were above this level. Working this out can be complicated because the amount people are expected to earn is affected by changes in minimum wage rates. If you are affected by this rule speak to an adviser.
  • Your Universal Credit award ends (other than because of your earnings increasing). Examples of this might be if you moved abroad or if you got capital of more than £16,000.

Changes that don't affect your transitional protection

Your transitional protection will not end if you stop getting a disability benefit. It also won't end if someone starts getting Carer's Allowance or the Carer's Element of Universal Credit for looking after you.