A national programme by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to move claimants to Universal Credit comes to Wolverhampton from this week.

Universal Credit has been introduced by DWP in place of 6 existing benefit payments. DWP is now rolling out what it calls the ‘managed migration’ process – moving people from existing benefit claims to Universal Credit.

City residents in receipt of certain benefits will now be affected and will need to take action to avoid losing out financially.

People receiving tax credits, including working tax credits and/or child tax credits, will be the first affected, with those in receipt of other benefits following on throughout the year.

Claimants will receive a ‘Migration Notice’ from DWP or HMRC advising them to make the move. Once they receive the notice in the post they have 3 months in which to apply for universal credit. 

If a person claims too soon, they will not be entitled to the Transitional Element which is designed to plug any gap between their current benefits and Universal Credit.

Councillor Louise Miles, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources said support was available but urged claimants to wait until they are contacted before taking any action.

“We understand that many people will be worried about this change to their benefits. However, support is available to help guide them through the process. 

“There’s a wide range of online information to show people what they should do step by step. There’s also support available by calling the DWP helpline or the council’s benefits helpline.

“It’s crucial that people don’t ignore what’s happening. If they fail to take action after receiving their letter from the DWP, their current benefits will stop after 3 months. They won’t be entitled to Universal Credit until they apply which won’t happen automatically.

“So please read up now on the best thing to do, what action you should take and when to ensure the transition is smooth and with the least disruption to benefits.”

Here’s some key next steps for anyone affected and where to go for help and advice:

  • Anyone who has received a ‘migration notice’ and needs help applying for Universal Credit or who needs more time to apply should contact in the first instance the DWP’s Migration Notice Helpline on 0800 169 0328. 
  • People can also contact the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service on 0800 1448 444.
  • Benefits advice is also available from the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Benefit Helpline on 07966 292321 (Monday to Friday between 10am and 12pm noon) or email them at wrs.benefitshelpline@wolverhampton.gov.uk
  • People can view the Wolverhampton Information and Advice Directory (Universal Credit Supplement) opposite to find details on local groups and organisations who can provide them with advice on Universal Credit and support in applying for Universal Credit.