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

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

Last reviewed 13 May 2024

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

If you're getting Universal Credit transitional protection, some changes may reduce or stop the transitional element 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 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.


Jane and Dave currently receive £1,100 per month from the benefits to be replaced by Universal Credit but their Universal Credit entitlement is only £1,000 per month.

They are part of the 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 £1,020 per month.

They only need a transitional protection amount of £80 now to top them up to their previous benefit income of £1,100 per month.

Although their Universal Credit entitlement has gone up £20, their transitional protection amount is reduced by £20 so they still receive £1,100 per month.

They won't see a rise in their income from Universal Credit until their Universal Credit entitlement becomes more than £1,100 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 go below a certain threshold for three months in a row (£892 a month for a single claimant and £1,437 a month for joint claimants), and at the time you claimed Universal Credit your earnings were above this level. 
  • 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.


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