Money Wellness
Image of a woman reading a letter
category iconbenefits
calendar icon18 Jul 2023

People on tax credits warned to look out for DWP letter or risk missing out on financial help

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will be writing to thousands of people in August who are currently claiming tax credits to tell them they must switch over to universal credit.

The process, known as managed migration, is being done to streamline and simplify the benefits system by bringing together people on six legacy benefits into one offering – universal credit.

Those legacy benefits include:

  • working tax credits
  • housing benefit
  • income support
  • income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • child tax credit.  

Other benefits, such as personal independence payment (PIP), will stay the same.

Anyone who receives a letter must begin claiming universal credit by the deadline date given otherwise they risk missing out on financial support.

You can apply for universal credit online at

You’ll need to create an account to make a claim, and you must do so within 28 days or you’ll have to start again.

To apply online you’ll need:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details
  • an email address
  • access to a phone

You’ll also have to prove your identity so will need some documents, such as:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card
  • payslip or P60

To complete your claim, you’ll also need to provide information about:

  • your housing e.g. how much rent you pay
  • your earnings e.g. payslips
  • any disability or health condition that affects your work
  • how much you pay for childcare if you want help with childcare costs
  • your savings and any investments such as shares or property that you rent out

You might need an appointment with the universal credit team if they need more information from you or can’t verify you online. This appointment will either be in a local jobcentre or on the phone.

If you can’t claim universal credit by the deadline date given in the letter, you should contact the universal credit migration notice helpline on 0800 169 0328 immediately.

Who’s entitled to universal credit?

Universal credit is for people who:

  • are on low income
  • need help with living costs
  • are working (including self-employed or part time)
  • are out of work
  • have a health condition that affects their ability to work

Are there any exceptions to the universal credit rules when migrating?

If you receive a migration notice letter from DWP, then some of the normal universal credit rules won’t apply to you. These are:

  • Tax credits – if you receive tax credits you can make a claim even if you have savings or capital more than £16,000. After 12 months normal eligibility rules will apply
  • Students – if you receive financial support from your current benefits, you can claim universal credit if you or your partner are in full-time advanced education (such as attending university)
Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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