Published On: Fri, May 20th, 2022

Universal Credit: 1.4 legacy benefit claimants could get an extra £220 after being moved | Personal Finance | Finance

In the next two years, The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) aim to move 2.6 million people on legacy benefits to Universal Credit. They have recently restarted the ‘managed migration’ process of move that was paused due to the pandemic.

As the cost of living crisis continues, and inflation sits at nine percent, some extra cash could be vital for families who are feeling squeezed.

The DWP said 1.4 million people could see an increase – once moved on Universal Credit – of up to £220.

Labour MP, Rachael Maskell, recently asked the DWP what estimates have been made of the average change in income per person that transfers from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.

In a written response, David Rutley MP, from the DWP, said: “Around 1.4 million people currently on older ‘legacy’ benefits would see their entitlement increase by an average of £220 a month on moving to Universal Credit and another 300,000 see no change.”

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The Minister added: “For the minority of eligible claimants who have a higher entitlement on legacy benefits than on Universal Credit, transitional protection will top up their Universal Credit when they move over.”

The DWP estimated which groups could receive higher entitlement after being moved:

  • Employment Support Allowance claimants: 600,000
  • Tax Credits (Working and Child) claimants: 700,000
  • Total, including other legacy benefits: 1.4 million

Only 500 people will initially be moved to Universal Credit through the managed migration process, however this will increase over the coming months in order to complete the move for all claimants by the end of 2024.

There are three ways people can migrate to Universal Credit, outlined in the DWP’s ‘2022-24 strategy for implementing the final phase of Universal Credit’.


At the moment, the price of everything from food to fuel is set to increase, and many people could struggle to keep up.

Despite millions of people being better off, the DWP has also estimated that thousands of people could be worse off after making the move.

In its guidance it stated that some 900,000 people on legacy benefits will be worse off on Universal Credit.

Households who get ESA and receive the Severe Disability Premium and the enhanced disability premium, are expected to be worse off on Universal Credit.

Whereas, ESA claimants who are in the support group but who do not get the Severe Disability Payment could be better off.

Lower entitlement after moving to Universal Credit

  • ESA claimants: 500,000
  • Tax Credits (Working and Child) claimants: 300,000
  • Total, including other legacy benefits: 900,000

300,000 will not experience any change in benefit payments after making the move.

No change after moving to Universal Credit

  • ESA claimants: 100,000
  • Income Support: 100,000
  • Total, including other legacy benefits: 300,000

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