Ask CPAG Online - Universal Credit 'Natural Migration'

Universal credit (UC) is being introduced in a phased programme, due to be completed by March 2022.

UC is replacing the following 'legacy benefits':

  • income support
  • income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • housing benefit
  • tax credit

Claimants who are currently in receipt of legacy benefits can stay on those benefits until they are transferred ('migrated') onto UC.

There are two different migration processes:

  • 'natural migration', which occurs when a claimant experiences a change of circumstances and has to claim UC, rather than another legacy benefit, to access means-tested support;

  • 'managed migration', which is the process the DWP will use to automatically transfer claimants on legacy benefits onto UC.

'Managed migration' is not due to begin until at least July 2019.

By contrast, 'natural migration' is already happening and will become increasingly common as UC is rolled out in its 'full service' format. The other major distinction is that when claimants move onto UC through 'managed migration', 'transitional protection' payments will ensure that they are not paid less UC than they were receiving in legacy benefits. This will not apply to claimants transferring onto UC through 'natural migration', which means that some claimants will be worse off following natural migration onto UC (some claimants, however, will be better off).

Click on the links below for more details of 'natural migration'.