Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Timing of claim

When someone has received a Migration Notice inviting them to claim UC, they then have up to three months to make that claim. 

They need to consider whether there is a 'best' time for them to claim to maximise their benefit entitlement and help them make a smooth move onto UC.. 

IMPORTANT: For some claimants more than one of the issues that impact on the timing of a claim may affect them. In these cases they need to be aware of all the implications before making a decision when to claim.

Click on the the buttons for more information.

We have produced both a Quick Guide and a more detailed Checklist looking at the timing of a claim.

The Quick Guide is available by clicking on the link below.

The Checklist is available here.

If someone has received a Migration Notice and they are going to have a change in circumstances before their Deadline Day, then they should seek advice from a Welfare Benefits Adviser.

Depending on what the change is, it could make a difference to any Transitional Protection they are entitled to and therefore their award of UC.

Each case will be different, but these changes could include:

  • Having a baby / taking responsibility for a child / young person.
  • A non-dependant moving in (or out).
  • Moving home.
  • IR-ESA due to end.
  • Starting caring for a disabled person.
  • A Tax Credit claimant about to receive capital that would take then over the £16,000 UC savings limit.
  • A working Tax Credit claimant increasing their work hours to 30 hours per week or more.
  • Awaiting a decision on / making a claim for Personal Independence Payment / Adult Disability Payment.

If someone is making a claim for UC after receiving a Migration Notice and they are working and getting paid monthly, they may wish to consider making the claim so as to avoid any 'two monthly wages in one Assessment Period' problems.

If someone is making a claim for UC after receiving a Migration Notice and they are working and about to receive a large payment from work, they may wish to delay making the claim. The payment would normally be taken as earnings under UC for the Monthly Assessment Period in which it is received, but may have no impact on any Tax Credits they are receiving.

If someone is making a claim for UC after receiving a Migration Notice and they are going to be entitled to a Childcare Costs Element, then one factor to consider when thinking about when to make their claim is the date their Assessment Periods will end, to make it as easy as possible for them to report their childcare costs.

If a self employed person is making a claim for UC after receiving a Migration Notice then there are a couple of things that could affect the date they make their claim:

  • The date their Monthly Assessment Periods end, to make it as easy as possible for them to report their self-employed income and expenses.
  • Whether they are due any large income payments.

Where a claimant's UC assessment includes a Carer Element this can impact on the benefits of the person the claimant is caring for.

In these cases the caring claimant could delay making their claim for UC to protect that loss for as long as possible (although they may themselves be better off on UC so may have a difficult decision to make). 

These claimants should be advised to speak to a Welfare Benefits Adviser before making their claim for UC, but do need to make their claim before their 'deadline day'.

When someone makes a claim for UC, a stop notice is sent to HMRC who will then start finalising the claimants Tax Credit award. Depending on their circumstances they may not receive another payment of Tax Credits.

When a legacy benefit claimant receives their 'Migration Notice' they should consider if there is a 'best time' within this window to make their claim.

The exact date on which they make their claim can have a big impact on the amount of their UC going forward, when they receive their UC payments and also when they have to report things like childcare costs and self-employed earnings.

Here we are looking at how that decision may be impacted by the April benefit uprating. Those moving onto UC through the Managed Migration process are given a window of three months in which to start their UC claim. For some, this will allow them a choice of whether to start their new UC claim before benefit uprating takes place in April 2024, or afterwards.

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