DWP warning to Housing Benefit claimants over major restructure – how it affects you | Personal Finance | Finance

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Those claiming housing benefit only have three weeks left until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) makes a major change to their claim.

The DWP will start to contact those claiming the benefit from June telling them to claim Universal Credit instead. The benefits department is currently working to move everyone claiming “legacy benefits” onto Universal Credit. The process is called “Managed Migration” and the DWP shared its plan for 2024 earlier this year.

Those claiming Housing Benefit only – and no other benefit – will start to receive letters – called “Migration Notices” over the coming weeks. Once their letter arrives, they will need to put in a claim for Universal Credit within three months. If you don’t your current claim will be stopped.

As part of the DWP‘s plan, from July, people claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) with Child Tax Credits will receive their notices, followed by Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants in September. Households claiming Tax Credits alongside Housing Benefits started to receive their notices in April, this means they have until July to put in their claim.

The DWP has been phasing out the legacy benefits for a few years and restarted the move again last year after briefly pausing during the Coronavirus pandemic. At the time of the managed migration restarting, around 2.6million people were still claiming old-style legacy benefits in the UK.

Originally, the process was set to be completed by 2028. However, the Government’s plans changed last month after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak‘s ‘Suck Not Generation” speech. Now, all migration notices will be sent by the end of December 2025. The benefits being scrapped by the DWP are the older “legacy” benefits which include:

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

You can put in your claim online, or over the phone by calling the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline on 0800 169 0328, or you can also ask your local Job Centre. Once you have made your claim, you will have to wait five weeks until your first Universal Credit payment and you will continue to receive it going forward – unless your circumstances change.

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