Universal Credit 'managed migration' starts soon
People who claim legacy welfare benefits in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, will be required to move over to Universal Credit (UC), in a process known as ‘managed migration’. The DWP have confirmed that the pilot will start in July.
Once the pilot in Harrogate has finished, the Government will extend managed migration across the country.
What is managed migration?
Managed migration is the process in which the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will move claimants from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.
The legacy benefits are:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Around three million people will be moved across to Universal Credit from one of these benefits they are currently receiving.
Those who are moved by managed migration and get their paperwork in on time should get transitional protection so they're not left financially worse off by moving onto Universal Credit.
What are the risks of managed migration?
The main risk of managed migration is that claimants will fall out of the social security system and left destitute.
Under current plans, the DWP will write to claimants telling them that their legacy benefits are coming to an end and they need to make a new claim for Universal Credit.
However, if these claimants don’t make their new claim within a certain time period, they will lose their old benefits and not receive any new benefits.
This could drastically increase the number of vulnerable people living in poverty.
However, this should not happen during the pilot.
What is the pilot in Harrogate?
The DWP want to test their procedure for managed migration, so they are holding a 10,000 person pilot in Harrogate.
Officials are hopeful of starting this trial on July 17. However, the government is yet to vote on the Universal Credit regulations that would allow it to start switching people across from the old benefits.