How a pilot benefits transfer will impact on claimants hereBENEFITS EXPERT:
Q. I currently receive legacy benefits but have been told that I’ll be getting sent a letter advising me I must make preparations to claim and then transfer to Universal Credit which concerns me as I am used to managing my current benefits and may be worse off. Is it correct that I’ll effectively be forced onto Universal Credit?
A. For a long time the government have planned what is known as managed migration, whereby people on legacy benefits (Income Support, Income Based ESA, Income Based JSA, Tax Credits – both child and working - and Housing Benefit will be contacted to transfer them to Universal Credit.
The planned start date has changed due to a combination of factors, the most recent being delays due to lockdown restrictions brought about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to assess if the UC infrastructure can cope with mass transfers from legacy to UC, the DWP have been doing managed migration but only in certain pilot areas.
This pilot was affected by COVID and only 13 people were transferred from legacy benefits and then onto UC, the pilot was then stopped and wasn’t resumed once lockdown eased or ended.
A new pilot for managed migration started on May 9, 2022, but at the moment it will only take place for benefit claimants in Bradford or Medway.
Furthermore the pilot wont target every claimant on legacy benefits, it is only a small numbers of people who will be targeted, for Bolton the numbers likely to be targeted are between 200 to 250 people, it’s likely the
If you don’t live here then currently you do not need to worry about managed migration although it is possible other areas may be added to the pilot exercise.
The idea behind these pilots is to ascertain whether DWP infrastructure for both legacy benefits and Universal Credit (computers, staff numbers, etc.) can cope with larger transfers.
The pilot studies may indicate further work, updates, etc. are needed before a national roll out or increasing the number of pilot towns and/or an increase in people selected for managed migration.
We will of course endeavour to update readers if other towns and cities are selected.