Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Managed Migration: What happens to a claimant's existing benefits?
Please note the details on this page are based on how the Managed Migration works during the 'test and learn' pilot period therefore the final Regulations that are implemented may be very different

What happens to the claimant's legacy benefits?

Those migrating between July 2019 and 21st July 2020, ie the pilot:

Neil Couling (Director General of UC) sent a letter send to stakeholders in August 2019 which states: "we will not stop claimants' benefits to force a move to UC during the pilot".)
This means that no-one in the pilot should have their benefits stopped unless they agree to take part in the pilot: the DWP are taking a very light touch approach, "inviting" claimants to apply for UC. The pilot version of the migration notice (included in the letter) does not give a date for when the claimant's benefit will end, instead, stating in general terms that legacy benefits are ending "soon".
However once they have agreed to take part, they will be sent the migration notice with a deadline for when to apply - although they can request an extension. More on this page.

Provided that the claimant (and their partner, if they have one) makes the Universal Credit claim by the 'deadline day' specified in the 'migration notice' (or if they have had the 'deadline day' extended, then by the 'new deadline day'), any legacy benefit they are in receipt of (apart from Housing Benefit*) will be paid up until the day before they made their UC claim, and transitional protection (TP) will be considered.

If they do not make a new UC claim by the deadline day, any legacy benefit they are in receipt of (apart from Housing Benefit*) will end and will be paid up until the day before that day.

If the claimant then makes a successful claim for UC after the 'deadline day' but before the 'final deadline' ie within one month of their existing benefits ending, their UC claim will automatically be backdated to the 'deadline day' and transitional protection will be applied to the UC award. 

*Housing Benefit claimants moving to UC under the managed migration process will be eligible to receive HB for the first two weeks of their UC award - the Transition to UC Housing Payment - in line with those claimants who migrate to UC because of a change of circumstances.
Even if they don't make a new claim for UC, Reg 46 of the Universal Credit Managed Migration Pilot Regulations allows their award of HB to continue for two weeks starting on the 'deadline day'.
And for those claimants living in 'specified' or 'temporary' accommodation their HB will not end at all.


Elizabeth and Liam have been claiming Tax Credits to top up their earnings and help pay for childcare. They receive a notification - their 'migration notice' - on 13th August that their Tax Credits will be brought to an end on 13th November - their 'deadline day' - and inviting them to claim Universal Credit.

They both make their claims for Universal Credit on 20th August - and so their Tax Credit entitlement is brought to an end on 19th August.



Ghita had been claiming Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit when she received her 'migration notice' - informing her that her IR-ESA and HB are due to end and inviting her to make a claim for UC instead.

She wasn't able to make the claim by her 'deadline day' as she had a massive heart attack and ended up in hospital. Her daughter arranged with the DWP an extension of the period given for her to make her claim and so she was issued with a 'new deadline day' - being 20th February.

Ghita's makes her claim for UC on 15th February and so her IR-ESA ends on 14th February and her HB ends two weeks later.



Lionel had been claiming Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit when he received his 'migration notice' - informing him that his IR-ESA and HB were due to end and inviting him to make a claim for UC instead.

He didn't make the claim by his 'deadline day' - 23rd October - and so his IB-JSA stopped on 22nd October, and his HB stopped two weeks later.

Lionel did go on to make a successful claim for UC on 11th November ie before his 'final deadline day' and so his UC claim was dated 23rd October and there was no gap in his benefit entitlement.



Lan had been claiming Income Support and Housing Benefit when she received her 'migration notice' - informing her that her IS and HB were due to end and inviting her to make a claim for UC instead.

She didn't make the claim for UC by her 'deadline day' - 5th December - and so her IS stopped on 4th December, and her HB stopped two weeks later.

Lan did go on to make a successful claim for UC but not until on 21st January ie after her 'final deadline day' and so her UC claim was dated 21st January and there was a gap in her benefit entitlement. 

Guidance suggests that before a claimant's legacy benefits are stopped the DWP check for evidence of complex needs or vulnerability to safeguard these claimants. If it is considered that a claimant has complex needs or is vulnerable, the DWP has the option either to suggest an extension of the deadline day, arrange a home visit, or remove the claimant from the managed migration process by cancelling the notification and re-issuing it at a later date.

Those migrating from 22nd July 2020:

This will be the same as above but with the addition of a two week 'run-on' for claimants in receipt of Income-Based JSA, Income-Related ESA or Income Support from 22nd July 2020. 

Like the HB 'run-on' the amount of these 'run-ons' will be fixed according to the amount of the award payable immediately before claiming UC. These payments are disregarded as unearned income for UC purposes so would not reduce the first UC payment. This will provide claimants with additional financial support until they receive their first payment of UC.

The 'run-ons' will also apply where the existing benefits are brought to an end the day before the deadline date, if the claimant fails to comply with the managed migration process. 

If the claimant does not make the claim for UC by the deadline day, then their legacy benefits will all end the day before their deadline day.

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