An ‘Official sensitive’ document obtained via the Freedom of Information Act has revealed more of the DWP’s timetable for the forced move of legacy benefits claimants onto universal credit (UC).  It appears that most claimants will not begin to be moved until the winter of 2023.

The document ‘Move to UC Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy’ divides the move into four phases leading up to the full national roll out of forced migration. 

 Phase One - Discovery

April-June 2022

Small numbers only

 Phase Two – Scaling

June 22 to January 23

Minimum 1,000 claimants

 Phase Three – Scaling

Spring 2023

Minimum 5,000 claimants

 Phase Four – Rollout to national scale

Winter 2023

100,000+

 

Except for an unlucky group of a minimum of 6,000 people, it seems that most legacy benefits claimants are unlikely to be affected by the transfer before the winter of 2023.

However, after that the process will have to go at an extraordinary pace if all 2.6 million affected legacy benefits claimants are to be transferred by the end of 2024.

Each phase is intended to gather more information about such things as how well vulnerable claimants are identified, which groups fail to respond to migration notices, which groups come off benefits altogether and what happens to them.

Claimants will be monitored from the point at which they are asked to move to the time when they are on UC, have been paid and their conditionality regime has been established.

The DWP say that they will be carrying out in depth interviews and large scale surveys as well as ‘tracking claimant interactions using Smartphone Apps’ in order to capture the full range of experiences of claimants undergoing the transfer.

The DWP clearly expect a number of claimants not to make the move because they say that:

‘Research will also be undertaken with a sample of claimants who choose not to make a UC claim to understand what has driven this choice.’

The fact that these may be some of the most vulnerable claimants and that they may not want, or be able, to have a dialogue with the DWP does not seem to be a particular concern.  And the fact that only ‘a sample’ will be contacted is a real cause for concern.

The benefits affected by forced UC migration are:

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

So far, selected claimants have received a migration notice in:

  • Bolton
  • Falmouth
  • Harrow
  • Medway
  • Truro

The DWP have published an information page for claimants who have received a migration notice.

You can download a copy of ‘Move to UC Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy’

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    C · 7 months ago
    I was receiving pip enhanced daily living..iwas told in dwp letter my claim will stop and I must go onto universal. If I did not return the form to universal credit in the time given my claim will end .Never states I was to have a choice also they are stating I'm not imtitled to severe disability premium I was receiving esa and income support and child tax they say that the unfot for work capability payments are the severe disability premium payments # given a new name.  What do I do and do I have a right to be backdated for unpaid serve premium... 
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      Marion · 4 months ago
      @C PIP is only related to ESA where you get a severe disability premium on your ESA, once you get the minimum standard daily living on your PIP. Your PIP will not stop if you don’t claim Universal Credit, that is your ESA. 

      It’s worrying that people on these benefits still don’t know the difference & how they work? Mind you, DWP will be pleased. Get advice from CAB or elsewhere on making a claim for U.C. They were paid a large sum of money to do this, that’s why I don’t trust them on anything else.
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    Veritas · 1 years ago
    Thankyou so much for this information ,as it's a stress ,all the duplicious stuff that I have to fight to get my entitlements Edward 
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    Siddyboy666 · 1 years ago
    I'm doing benefits for my friend, now I'm fighting DWP on his behalf PIP, plenty of evidence provided etc. I'm at the stage of Tribunal, DWP did not reply within one month period, Tribunal have extended their time by another 3 weeks which is up this Monday still not heard anything from DWP.  Has anyone else had this awful experience and know what happens going forward.
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    michael wright · 1 years ago
    i am in an odd position as i receive IR ESA,and PIP at high rate for mobility the reason is for that is i will be 66
     in early 2024, then receiving my state pension/pension credit? i am not sure as i have my 30 years NI insurance contributions. my wife is a year younger than me so will not be pension eligible. what i don't know is one what happens to my ESA at pension age, as my wife is my carer and younger? also my PIP award is until 2028. so with UC possibly forced on us. haven't got a clue what's going to happen!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Limbolife · 5 months ago
      @michael wright You need to claim uc before you reach pension  age ( at least a day before but probably a week) in order to be smoothly transferred without an assessment and not lose money as by doing this you’ll avoid the five week waiting  period. We’re in the same  position and read on here about mixed age couples.
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    MAK · 1 years ago
    I am one of the unlucky ones to live in Medway and received a letter in July.  I am so glad that I kept supporting B&W after I won my tribunal against the DWP in my transfer from DLA to PIP five years ago. I'm not sure that I could go through a similar process now in relation to the managed migration from ESA to UC.
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    D · 1 years ago
    So at least 6000 people will be moved by winter 2023?

    It's odd they want to see who won't move to uc as from my understanding once you get the letter. You have 3 months to apply after that all your benefits are closed.

    Plus if they have to move over the remiaing 2.6 million between winter 2023 and 2024. I imagine more mistake will occur due to large amount of people moving over.

    If your moved over by managed migration you get 2 weeks housing benefits rollout and 2 week jsa/esa rollover too.

    It makes the 5 week wait period slightly less painful.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Matthew · 1 years ago
    I'd love to move to UC but can't as current rules state id lose my SDP & EDP if I moved myself through choice. I have rent of 650 a month and soaring energy and food prices to pay with a £1300 income living alone. I'm managing barely but with UC I could claim housing element? which would top my current income up I think. Council say im not entitled to Housing Benefit and have to go to UC.. Which I can't do because above. I wish the transitional protection was included regardless. I could be wrong though? People are saying don't move until you get told too. Which is fine in all just have to get through the winter! lol
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      Siddyboy666 · 1 years ago
      @Matthew If you are on ESA you are entitled to Housing Benefit and also a reduction in Council tax, please go to your local CAB if you cannot fight your Council alone. Good luck
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mark · 1 years ago
      @Matthew That doesn't sound right, I'd speak to your local CAB.  You're in receipt of benefits so should be able to get help with your housing.  
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Katathome01 · 1 years ago
    I'm on ESA, and I'm dreading the move.
    Four years ago, my husband died, and it took the DWP 12 weeks to pay me anything - with them losing letters, forms etc., so me needing to send copies which I'd, thankfully, got made.
    All I had moeny-wise, was my PIP, to cover my DD bill payments, but nothing left for food etc., before I got my first payment from them :(
    I've not been able to save, my energy bills have gone through the roof, so I'm already skimping on food to pay them, and I've nothing to sell - which is how I raised money the last time of change, to buy food!
    With all that's going on, a caring government would suspend this move - it's just a pity we haven't got a caring government! :(
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sheru · 1 years ago
    I am on income support was made to feel like a criminal with this random back to work assessments in Glasgow
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sheru · 1 years ago
    Seem to be randomly choosing people and also using usual tactics to threaten and cause maximum stress and anxiety, recieved one of these back to work appointments and could not attend because of ill health and have not been fit for work for most of my life due to health problems.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Derek Johnson · 1 years ago
    My wife and I would not qualify for UC.
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    Marion Fallon · 1 years ago
    Does anyone have any idea how they are choosing which locations/claimants to force on to the dreaded UC? Also how long before the transitional payment is paid, once on UC?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      D · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon Transitional payment would be after the 5 week from date you applied for claim.

      However you get 2 week rollover of housing benefit and 2 weeks jsa/esa. 
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    anna · 1 years ago
    i'll lose £140 week child & working tax as i wont qualify for UC as i paid off my mortgage - this pays our weekly food bill. i work part time as am also carer for son (24)  on enhanced ESA, normal PIP care & enhanced Mob PIP.  we'll lose out when he gets migrated over too - not sure how , as his Appointee, and working for DWP , I'm expected to discuss my / his finances & personal circumstances at a UC new claim appointment with the team i work on . just because i work for them doesnt mean i agree with any of this - i dont. UC in our area has been open to abuse we never saw under legacy benefits. 
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    Kat · 1 years ago
    Well I am on CB ESA with Income related element added due to a change in personal circumstances. A support worker of mine had to visit the Job Centre in regards to something unrelated but enquired about the change to UC, and was informed it would be another 4 years before my claim would be transferred to UC.  So who is telling the truth?
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    Angela F Blackpool · 1 years ago
    So I’m in the support group for ESA does that mean I won’t get forced onto Universal Credit, I have a friend on UC and it’s been a nightmare for her since her husband died leaving her without any income what so ever. They thought it was ok to give her £1.49 a week to live on whilst they assessed her case. I really don’t like the idea of being forced to move over to UC at all. 
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      Marion · 4 months ago
      @Angela F Blackpool Sadly it doesn’t mean you won’t get “migrated” to UC, the idea is to get everyone on ESA, support group or not onto UC. I worked for DWP years ago & keep up with their goings on generally, they’ve always had computer systems that can’t cope. This was before things got even more complex, with UC etc., I don’t think they have a hope in hell of getting the 2 + million legacy benefits people on to UC. They keep having to push the dates back, plus the Tories never plan properly! 

      I have a little over 4 years until my pension (cheated out of it at 60, now 67 when I get it) & am hoping desperately that I don’t have to go on to UC. My current PIP award runs until  Spring 2026, again I hope at review I get to keep it, before pension kicks in.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Shaz · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon Here here 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Katathome01 · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon
      I'm in the Support group, am housebound, and mainly bedbound 24/7.
      I dread this move, as I'm going to lose out financially anyway, with the transitional payment the DWP promising those of us in that position, only lasting in full until the next April rise - which, they've said, means that they will take off that rise from the TP!
      So, year after year, all of us on ESA at present, and forced over to UC, are just going to get even more poorer, plus having to deal with prices getting ever higher on top of that.
      They are killing us by incriments! :(
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rachel O · 1 years ago
      @Margaret G. I am on CB ESA and have lost out on all sorts of payments now - what are the pros and cons of moving or not to UC please - can anyone help?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Margaret G. · 1 years ago
      @Angela F Blackpool Unfortunately I think you will have to move over to U C unless you're on contribution ESA.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    JustinR · 1 years ago
    Not again!!!! I went through the Income Support - ESA in 2015. 
    Then, DLA - PIP in winter of 2017. 
    Now this!!!! Okay, I'm lucky enough that it won't happen to me "yet". At least I can rest easy for now. However, anytime from winter 2023. It's just too much isn't it? Moving from benefit to benefit, wondering if I'm going to get said new benefit? If not, would I have to appeal etc. Live is stressful enough. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ant · 1 years ago
    Phoebe, out of interest, how do you know you won't be migrated to Universal Credit? Have the DWP told you? 

    Not to suggest that it has a bearing on any decision to delay migration, but for many but not all ESA / Support Group claimants, it seems the amount received under UC would be significantly higher. See the two ESA Support Group case studies (nos. 1 and 6) on this gov.uk page. 


    That said, it'd be understandable if many claimants were too afraid of the potential consequences moving to UC to do so, even it meant losing out. 

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Angel · 1 years ago
      @Ant I will lose 2.5K a year in disability premiums which do not exist in UC. I live alone and am severely disabled. *don’t believe the hype*
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Marion Fallon · 1 years ago
      @David It will have the SDP listed on one of the DWP pages of your ESA, there are various premiums. I believe it’s income based, maybe as you get a war pension (not sure on this) you may not get it? Check your latest ESA letter, will be on 2 Nd or third page.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Scott Alexander · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon If you get SDP on ESA you will get Transitional Protection of at least £120 or even £200 if you don’t transfer over until you get your DWP transfer letter depending on your individual circumstances 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      David · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon HI Marion 
       
      How do you know if you receive this SDP?  I currently receive contribution based ESA support group/ standard PIP/ Warpension+ mobility.  Never saw any thing in DWP notices saying SDP= £50/60 .  Can you advise?

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Ant · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon Yes, Marion. That's case study no. 6. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Clair · 1 years ago
    My concern is DWP acknoweldge UC doesn't cover EDP so financially claimants are worse off. Even with migration threshold covering the loss temporarily, moving from fortnightly payments to monthly will cause these claimants a monumentally grave impact 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Krystyna Boswell · 1 years ago
    Absolutely distraught that there will be a forced migration at some point, because it has become clear that myself and partner will lose £100s a month. I live in Cornwall, and since 2 of the 5 migrated areas affect Cornwall, it looks like my county - which has one of the worst poverty issues in the UK - is being unfairly targeted.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Phoebe · 1 years ago
    As far as I’m aware, because I’m on CB ESA in the Support Group, I won’t be transferred to UC. Can anyone explain why this is? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Matthew · 1 years ago
      @Phoebe ESA awards are all ongoing for support group until someone randomly decides to reassess you or you have a significant change of circumstance. Its not like PIP which is a fixed rate of time.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Margaret G. · 1 years ago
      @Marion Fallon I read somewhere you wont have to have a wca if you're transferring over from ESA.try not to worry.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Ettenna · 1 years ago
      @Phoebe You are on a contribution based benefit. There is no allowances in UC for contribution based benefits. The migration is only for income based benefits. If you qualify you can claim UC as a top up to your CBESA but your CBESA remains in payment while ever you are entitled to it
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Marion Fallon · 1 years ago
      @Tricia There’s also another possible horror, there is some talk of having to have another WCA if put on UC!! Imagine how much more complicated that would be?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tricia · 1 years ago
      @Phoebe I'm in the same position and I'm pretty sure transferring to UC is a very bad thing, but I could be wrong if someone knows different.
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