Benefits migrating to Universal Credit – what to do

Be Benefit Wise

The following benefits are ending and are being replaced by Universal Credit:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

This starts in February 2024 for people receiving working and child tax credits and rolls out to other benefits by the end of 2024.

Look out for a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) called a Universal Credit Migration Notice explaining what you MUST do, and by when.

You won’t be moved automatically, so it’s important to follow the instructions in the letter, as your other benefits will stop.  

Your migration notice letter will give you a date by when you MUST make a Universal Credit claim. The deadline is three months from the date you received your migration letter.

If you make a claim before the deadline, then you will get what is called “transitional protection”.   This means that if you’d get less on Universal Credit than your old benefits, you’ll get an extra amount to make up the difference. The DWP will reduce the extra amount over time – so you’ll eventually just get what you normally would on Universal Credit.

Transitional protection also means you might be able to get Universal Credit when you wouldn’t usually be entitled to it. Self-employed people, students and people with savings over £16,000 getting tax credits will be exempt from some Universal Credit rules for 12 months or when their course ends.

If you live with a partner, you will both have to make separate claims for Universal Credit and link them together.

You may still need to make a claim for Universal Credit if your circumstances change before you receive your migration letter.  You will not receive transition protection in this circumstance.

Some people may find they are better off claiming Universal Credit.


Once you have claimed Universal Credit your housing benefit will stop, and you will receive housing costs towards your rent included in your Universal Credit which you MUST pay to BHT Sussex for your rent to prevent rent arrears.  Universal Credit also Pays calendar monthly so the amount paid will change from weekly or four weekly payments to calendar monthly payments.

If you want the housing costs part of your Universal Credit paid directly to BHT Sussex, please contact us so we can arrange this with Universal Credit.

If you would like more information about moving to Universal Credit, more information about claiming Universal Credit or a benefit calculation to find out how much you will get under Universal Credit contact Traci Brooks Income Recovery Officer on 07834979019 or email

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