Universal Credit is a payment which may be made in order to help with living costs to those eligible. It is intended to help those who are out of work or on a low income. Universal Credit is replacing six types of benefits payments, known as legacy benefits. These are: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Working Tax Credit.
New applicants and those who have had a change in circumstances may now claim Universal Credit instead.
However, those who have not had a change to their circumstances may not yet have been moved onto Universal Credit.
These people will be switched under the process known as “managed migration”.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed last month that a pilot scheme for “managed migration” has begun, taking place in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Up to 10,000 legacy benefit claimants without a change of circumstance will move to Universal Credit during this trial.
The pilot will last for at least a year, with claimants initially being selected from those that currently attend the Jobcentre for meetings with their work coach.
The DWP has said that those taking part in the pilot will receive personalised support and work coaches will establish whether they are ready to move and build on their existing relationships to prepare claimants and support them through the process.
They will then be given a migration notice, giving them at least three months to submit a claim for Universal Credit.
Should claimants get a lower entitlement on Universal Credit, as opposed to on the legacy benefits, and their circumstances have not changed but the move was part of the pilot scheme’s process, they will be eligible for transitional protection.
Gov.uk explains that the replacement of the aforementioned benefits is being introduced in stages across the UK.
It states: “You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances.”
Universal Credit is paid monthly, although it may be that the claimant gets fortnightly instalments instead if they live in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Should this occur, claimants can expect their payment to be made early, on the first working day prior to this date.
For the 2019 August Bank Holiday, this is Friday, August 23.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “We know how important these payments are.
“To avoid people having to wait any extra time for their benefit or pension payments over the Summer bank holiday, we are paying people early.
“If a payment date is on a bank holiday or weekend, customers will be paid on the last working day before the bank holiday or weekend.”