DWP’s plan for a ‘sprint finish’ on universal credit roll-out is ‘dangerous’ for claimants

  • charity calls for slowdown and safeguards 
  • DWP should publish its readiness criteria  

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling on the Government to extend its new timescales for moving people from older benefits to universal credit to prevent vulnerable claimants from falling through the cracks. 

The charity says the DWP must pause or slow down its plans, clarify aspects of the process that remain ambiguous – even to advisers – and publish its readiness criteria.    It is seeing cases of people struggling to claim UC and nearly missing their deadline to do so because they don’t understand what’s required of them.  When people don’t claim within their deadline they lose their current benefits and if they claim late, they can lose a cash top-up designed to ensure claimants are not worse off when they move to UC. 

In a phased process known as ‘managed migration, claimants of older benefits are being required to move to universal credit.   Claimants get three months to claim UC from the date they receive their ‘migration notice’.   If they don’t claim within three months, their current benefits are terminated.*  Even if people who miss their migration deadline do eventually manage to claim UC, they will have lost their entitlement to transitional protection** – a top-up which ensures claimants are not worse off at the point of transition to UC, sometimes worth hundreds of pounds a month.

Read CPAG’s full article – cpag.org.uk/news/dwps-plan-sprint-finish-universal-credit-roll-out-dangerous-claimants

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